Singapore

Change to law by year-end

Changes to the law on town councils to ensure public funds are managed properly can be expected by the end of the year, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said yesterday.

The amendments to the Town Councils Act will, among other things, ensure that town councils have a "proper governance structure", he told reporters after a ministerial visit to Kebun Baru ward in Nee Soon GRC.

He was responding to queries on what steps were being taken after a report on the Workers' Party-run Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) by independent auditor KPMG last week flagged "pervasive" control failures in its accounts and processes.

He said the latest findings "give us an impetus" to ensure that the act is amended soon, The Straits Times reported. "The legislative changes are already being studied and are being finalised and we hope to make them by the end of the year," it quoted him as saying.

The Government had previously said the law on town councils was being reviewed, including last year when a special audit by the Auditor-General highlighted major problems in the accounts of the WP's town council.

Currently, MND has no power to compel town councils to submit information and there are no penalties if a town council refuses to do so.

On Saturday, Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam had criticised WP leaders in a strongly-worded Facebook post.

SingaporepoliticsWorkers' Party