Madang govt told to pay debts

National

By DOROTHY MARK
THE Madang provincial government has been ordered by the national court to pay more than K1.5 million to two car hire companies for outstanding service payments.
Judge David Cannings made two rulings last month in favour of Bismarck Car Rental Limited for K154,381.76 and Flying Fox Nest Limited of K1,425,725.
Cannings ordered the default judgment between Flying Fox Nest and second defendant, being Madang government, in the liquidated sum of K1,425,725 pursuant to orders 12 rule 25 (a) (b) and rule 27 and order 12 rule 1 of the national court rules.
Bismarck Car Rental entered a contract with the provincial government in 2014 to hire vehicles on a daily flat rate to which vehicles were hired out but invoices remained unpaid until the contract was terminated in May 2015.
The court ordered the provincial government to pay K153,400 as the total amount of debt and damages plus interest of K981.76 which totalled K154,381.76.
Lawyer for Flying Fox Nest Limited, Baffinu Wak of Kunai Lawyers, said several other service providers had filed cases or were in the process of filing their cases against the provincial government for services rendered on credit or hire basis.
Wak said the amount would total up to more than K10 million.
He said hiring of vehicles was an issue for the provincial government budget, yet most officers were still hiring vehicles from hire car companies.
“Instead of buying a vehicle for about K100,000, the government is now paying millions to hire cars,” Wak said. Meanwhile, building contractors who had been engaged in the rural education service improvement programme had outstanding payments owed to them since 2008.
A contractor, Bonny Pongo, said the provincial government owed them more than K4 million.
The court was supposed to hear their trial on liability yesterday but provincial government lawyer did not appear in court.

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