The National, Wednesday July 1st, 2012
By GABRIEL LAHOC
LAE city council has been losing more than K2 million annually to bogus contractors and has more than K2.5million in outstanding claims dating back to 2008.
This was revealed in a press conference yesterday in Lae by city manager Roy Kamen, who after taking office this year, is now looking into the claims.
The city council has a budget of K700,000 annually for contractors, mainly doing grass cutting in sections of the industrial hub, and after enforcing strict checks and balances he has now challenged bogus contractors to identify themselves and prove with proper documents in order to claim their payouts.
His orders have resulted in a group of bogus contractors now stirring up the genuine contractors, spreading malicious rumours and planning a protest against his office.
“Since I have come into office we have put a stop to paper contractors, only genuine contractors identified are being paid their dues,” the former head of the Morobe provincial disaster and emergency services said.
“Some of them have been conspiring with our own officers who have been benefiting with their cuts.
“I want to make it clear to city residents and the public that some of these paper contractors have been fooling the previous management. Their lifeline has been stopped because they have been feeding off from Lae city council,” he said.
“How can we have outstanding claims every year, we can’t continue like this.”
Kamen declined to name the paper contractors and city council officers his office knows of, but confirmed that some officers had been relieved from dealing with contractors in the process where his office processed claims before the Lae district treasury paid out.
said contractors that failed to identify themselves and provide documentary proof would not be paid and he challenged them to take the city council to court if they were for real.