The National – Tuesday, June 14, 2011
By SAMUEL RAITANO
AN OMBUDSMAN Commission (OC) report highlighting the absence of legislation on National Housing Corporation (NHC) dealings with certain models of properties is before Parliament.
The report reveals that there were no legislation or proper policy on NHC dealings with duplex properties.
The report was presented to the speaker last Friday.
It follows an OC investigation conducted into a NHC dealing with a duplex property consisting of two units, 16 and 17 at section 119, lot 8, Saraga, Moresby Northeast.
The NHC had improperly sold the duplex property to the tenant of unit 16, who again sold the property to a third party, victimising the tenant of unit 17 who had an initial arrangement with NHC to occupy it.
The irregularity was that the NHC failed to follow the legislative model for the sale of the dwelling under part 4, division 2 of the NHC Act.
NHC also had no sell-off scheme policy to properly coordinate the sale and transfer of NHC properties, both single and duplex properties.
It was said that, as a result of that, the tenant of unit 17 became a victim of the transaction.
The system of business houses and individuals buying off duplex properties from NHC, resulting in the kicking out of tenants of the contained units who had separate arrangements with NHC, was the major irregularity with no legislation to bind the stakeholders involved in the whole deal.
Chief Ombudsman Chronox Manek, while presenting the report, said that OC was exercising its discretion to publish it under section 23 of the Organic Law on Ombudsman Commission.
This was because the findings and recommendations had application to a large number of government agencies, and that the matters investigated had considerable media interest and public debate.
This meant property deals of the similar irregular nature may have or had affected other tenants of NHC properties throughout the country, and that other government agencies may also be operating certain functions under similar legislative errors.
The speaker was required under section 23(1) (d) of the Organic Law on the Ombudsman Commission to present the report to the parliament within eight sitting days, the OC said.
The OC expects the report to be debated in parliament this week.
Ombudsman John Nero said that for too long reports by the OC had been shelved when presented for parliamentary debate.
And the OC did not want to see this happen to the NHC report.
The statement was made in reference to stagnation on the compliance to recommendations made by the OC via several previous reports, including the Julian Moti inquiry report.