Parliament to discuss strengthening of Town Councils Act on Feb 12

A STRENGTHENING of the Town Councils Act - which has been described by commentators as "toothless" - will be discussed at the Feb 12 Parliament sitting.

A Ministry of National Development (MND) spokesperson told The Business Times that the Minister for National Development, Khaw Boon Wan, has indicated to the Clerk of Parliament that he wishes to introduce the following motion:

"That this Parliament:

(i) notes with concern the Auditor-General's Report on the Audit of Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC), specifically its findings on:

a) the deficiencies in AHPETC's financial and accounting systems, record-keeping and safeguards;

b) the uncertain accuracy and reliability of AHPETC's accounts;

c) the lack of proper disclosure and oversight by AHPETC's Town Councillors, especially over related-party transactions and conflicts of interest; and

d) the risk that AHPETC has not properly managed and spent public funds;

(ii) calls on all Town Councils to uphold high standards of accounting, reporting and corporate governance so as to safeguard residents' interests; and

(iii) supports strengthening the legislative framework for Town Councils, in order to hold those responsible for their good management to proper account."

READ MORE: Offical audit finds major lapses in Workers' Party town council books

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