Singapore

All town councils get best rating for lift performance

In a year with a spate of lift breakdowns, all 16 town councils received top marks on their lift performance in an official report card for town councils.

Less stellar results were recorded for corporate governance, in which two town councils - Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) and Ang Mo Kio Town Council (AMKTC) - did not do as well.

Estate maintenance, a perennial problem, also remains an issue, with 12 of 16 town councils getting an amber rating for breaches such as obstruction of common areas.

These results were unveiled by the Ministry of National Development (MND) yesterday in the Town Council Management Report for financial year 2016, which ended on March 31 this year.

The annual report assesses town councils in five areas: estate cleanliness, estate maintenance, lift performance, management of arrears in service and conservancy charges, and corporate governance.

They receive green, amber or red scores.

The all-green rating for lift performance comes in a year that saw a multitude of lifts malfunctioning in ageing and new Build-to-Order housing estates alike.

To get a green rating, each estate must have fewer than two breakdowns a month for every 10 lifts. It must also have fewer than two in 100 lifts with a faulty automatic rescue device, which will bring a lift to the nearest landing and open the doors if there is a power failure.

MND said the automatic rescue device failure rates were zero for all lifts managed by the town councils.

Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council chairman Zainal Sapari said: "Despite the reports of lift issues in some of the new BTO flats in Punggol and older lifts in Pasir Ris, the total number of such cases is still very small relative to the total number of lifts we are managing."

'RED' BANDING

For corporate governance, AHTC received a "red" banding for its late quarterly transfer to the sinking fund, a waiver of quotation not in accordance with requirements under the Town Council Financial Rules and a report on the count of its fixed assets was not certified in the correct manner.

AHTC chairman Pritam Singh of the Workers' Party said remedial actions have been taken.

For instance, AHTC has improved its internal procedures to monitor key deadlines, after a quarterly transfer to the sinking fund was three days late owing to staff oversight in signing the bank instructions.

On the waiver, he said AHTC had assessed it was more viable for its existing service provider to continue doing payroll processing and attendance, and e-leave tracking.

Meanwhile, AMKTC was given an "amber" banding as it did not seek approval from the correct approving authority to waive quotations as required.

Town Councils