Finance to handle leases

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THE management of leases for office spaces rented by the Government, and the payment of their rentals, will be the sole responsibility of the Finance Department, Finance Secretary Dr Ken Ngangan says.
Under the current arrangement, the Department of Personnel Management manages the leases of the rented offices, while Finance pays the rentals.
Ngangan said it had created a lot of issues in terms of effectively and efficiently managing office accommodation and payment of rental.
“Therefore to address these issues, the government has made a determination to transfer the full function of the office rental management system back to the Finance Department,” Ngangan said.
“So both the management of leases and the payment of rentals will take place at the Finance Department.
“That would be very straightforward and easy for us to manage.
“We will be able to know what the leases are, the lease rates are, and we know what and how much to pay.
“The landlords can tell us how much we still need to pay or whether we have overpaid.”
Ngangan said the transfer would be done soon.
“For payments of utilities like water and power bills, it’s a different thing,” he said.
“It is now being centralised at the Finance Department.”
Meanwhile, some offices occupied by State agencies were locked by landlords because of the non-payments of rental arrears.
The most recent one was the Ministry of Environment and Conservation and the Climate Change and the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority.
Property owner Steamships locked the offices due to non-payment of rent.
Ngangan said all outstanding and current rentals would be made by December.

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