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18 October 2018

Enforcing Town Councils’ Duties of Financial Prudence: Problems Addressed by the Town Councils (Amendment) Act 2017

Benjamin Joshua Ong

Published on e-First 18 October 2018

Abstract:
This article discusses the means by which a Town Council’s statutory duties, particularly its duties of financial prudence, may be enforced. It studies the law as it was prior to 2017 and reveals various conceptual and practical problems, the result of which was that it was possible for a Town Council to fail to perform its statutory duties and face only minimal consequences. This article will provide a background to some of the new statutory procedures introduced in the 2017 amendments to the Town Councils Act (Cap 329A, 2000 Rev Ed), which solve the problems from which the previous law suffered. It is hoped that this will shed light on the history of the 2017 amendments and how they may be applied. This article also highlights the problem of how conditions attached to grants made by the Government to Town Councils are to be enforced, which is an outstanding issue that has not been addressed by the 2017 amendments and which represents potential for future development of the law.