Town Councils to get new Code of Governance
PUBLISHED ON 19 Jun 2019
The Ministry of National Development (MND) has issued a new Code of Governance for town councils (TCs). The new Code, promoting greater transparency and governance standards, will be effective 1 April 2020.
MND said the objectives of the code are to enhance the effectiveness of TCs by sharing recommended governance practices, provide guidance to the Town Councillors to help them carry out their fiduciary duties and improve the transparency of TCs’ operations to build public trust and confidence.
MND added that the Code is based on five guiding principles: integrity, objectivity, accountability, fairness and transparency. The Code’s guiding principles will span four domains:
  • Council Effectiveness
  • Internal Controls & Processes
  • Financial Management
  • Vendor Management
MND will include best practices for the Town Councils to adopt. TCs must declare their compliance with the Code provisions using a Checklist provided by the ministry and submit the Checklist to MND annually. Where TCs opt not to comply or are in the process of working towards compliance with certain provisions, they will be asked to explain how governance standards in the Code are achieved.
As TCs collectively manage about $2 billion worth of public and residents’ monies, MND reiterated that “TCs should have good governance and management controls in place to remain transparent and accountable to their residents.”