By STEVEN ZANDE –
THE Auditor General’s 2016 report has cited the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources for a number of irregularities, including failure to collect ground rates amounting to K331,137,696 on 149,000 properties.
The report noted that despite the Public Accounts Committee (PAC)’s call on the ministry to collect outstanding arrears without delay, by August this year, this had not been done.
“In their report to the first session of the twelfth National Assembly, PAC urged the controlling officer to ensure that outstanding arrears were collected without delay.
“A review of the situation in August 2017 showed that the outstanding ground rent had increased to K513,895,457 in respect of 204,093 properties,” the report read.
The report, which was released this week, revealed that in the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure, Lands had projected to collect K215,839,491 but only K123,162,758 was collected, resulting in an under-collection of K92,676,733.
Contrary to Financial Regulation number 121, the ministry delayed banking revenue totalling K1,516,893 for periods ranging from five to 81 days.
The report further stated that during the period under review, contrary to revised constitutional provisions on timber export permits, the Ministry of Lands charged old fees instead of the revised charge on timber exports.
This resulted in the ministry losing K76,659.