[UPDATED 21 November 11:30pm Adding comments from the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council]
The government's latest Town Council Management Report card gave its sole “red” grade to Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council in the category of collecting service and conservancy charges (S&CC).
The three-constituency town council, run by the opposition Workers' Party (WP), was slapped with the red banding because "more than 5 per cent of their households had S&CC arrears overdue for three months or more," read the report.
"Also, more than 50 per cent of their monthly S&CC collectible are overdue for three months or more,” it added.
It also showed a white "pending" field under corporate governance, a phenomenon that, like the town council's "red" banding, occurred in the Ministry of National Development (MND)'s last report as well.
The report, released Thursday at noon, measured the performance of Singapore's 15 town councils in the year ending March 2013 — contrary to four previous versions of the report, which graded the town councils' performance on a half-yearly basis.
The town councils were measured for cleanliness, maintenance, lift performance, service and conservancy charge arrears and corporate governance. All the town councils scored "green" bandings for cleanliness and lift performance, but nine were banded "amber" for maintenance. These nine apart from the AHPETC were: Chua Chu Kang, East Coast, Holland-Bukit Panjang, Jurong, Marine Parade, Pasir Ris-Punggol, Tampines and West Coast.
Potong Pasir Town Council was also given an "amber" banding for its conservancy charge arrears management.
In a statement released on Thursday evening, WP chairman Sylvia Lim said in the area of S&CC arrears management, AHPETC is closely monitoring the situation and have initiated several steps to recover the outstanding arrears since 2012.
Lim added that the town council has stepped up enforcement measures including court prosecution where other measures have failed.
She also said improving the arrears situation is an ongoing process and will take time to effect.
In the area of corporate governance, Lim explained that the town council’s banding is listed as ‘pending’ mainly because its auditors are still in the midst of finalising its FY12 financial statements.
She added that AHPETC appointed the auditors in early May this year and it hopes the audit will be completed soon.