Government ready to pay arrears on office rents

National

THE Finance and Treasury Departments are working on outstanding office rentals for government departments, with warrants soon to be issued for payments, Finance Secretary Dr Ken Ngangan says.
Ngangan told The National that no government office should be locked out as the budget had been corrected.
There was an under-budget of about K178 million for rentals in the national budget which had resulted in some government departments being locked out, he said.
Ngangan said this was fixed and factored into the budget and all outstanding rentals and new payments were being settled.
The government departments started leasing office space in the mid-1990s when Marea House, now named Manasupe House, and the Somare Foundation Buildings were condemned.
Over the last four years, the Central Government Office (CGO) buildings were refurbished and most of the departments and agencies, including Foreign Affairs, Agriculture and Livestock and Apec Authority, moved in there.
Rental committee members, Treasury Secretary Dairi Vele, Finance Secretary Dr Ken Nangan, and Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari have completed their audits and will submit their report to cabinet.
Department of Personnel Management Secretary John Kali said they had started an audit of all government department offices to establish their space occupancy in Port Moresby and other provincial towns.
The audit will help department of personnel management establish space occupancy by government departments in National Capital District and nationwide.

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