The National, Thursday 9th May 2013
By ELIZABETH MIAE
THE Finance Department owes the National Housing Corporation K38.8 million in rental money collected from public servants living in NHC houses, a Public Accounts Committee inquiry was told yesterday.
The deductions were made from the public servants’ fortnightly salaries, the inquiry into the NHC heard yesterday.
The money collected in rentals was credited to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
NHC managing director John Dege told the committee that rental money from public servants in NHC houses was taken by the department and they had a lot of problems recouping that money.
“We’ve been dependent on the housing data system that has been in existence for a long time and we can tell you who’s paying and who’s not,” Dege said.
Dege said the NHC collected between K250,000 and K300,000 per month from rentals.
Deputy Finance secretary Joseph Yafai explained that in 2009, NHC advised the department in a letter that it was owed about K60 million.
He said the department and NHC agreed to do a reconciliation exercise on the money that was collected in rental payments from public servants.
Yafai said at the time of the exercise, NHC did not produce any documentation to confirm that the department owed them that amount of money.
“From the time we started the reconciliation system, NHC wouldn’t provide to us a report for reconciliation,” Yafai said.
He said when they completed the exercise, they found out that the total amount owed to NHC was K38.8 million and not K60 million.
Yafai said the department then got a clearance from the solicitor-general to endorse a submission to the national executive council to provide K38.8 million through a budgetary allocation next year to pay back the NHC.
PAC chairman and Bogia MP John Hickey said there was a lack of communication between the parties including the AG’s office.