September 14, 2016 By Regina Pratt
An audit report – Performance Audit Report on Management of Government Residential Quarters – published in May 2016 states that the poor condition of many quarters means the Ministry of Works, Housing and Infrastructure rents private houses across the country for use as residential accommodation for civil servants.
“As at the end of 2014, the Ministry was renting 27 private houses at an estimated cost of Le293,900,890 based on an apportionment of the cost of renting all private houses,” the report states.
The report also states that the ministry’s records in 2014 showed that 30 properties were not categorised as being for official or residential use, adding that the ministry owes landlords significant sums in respect of rents for private rented houses.
The report also states that an analysis of a sample of 27 rental transactions revealed that the ministry’s records were out of date and contained numerous, significant errors.
The report further states that the Audit Service verified that the sum of Le71 million was being owed by the ministry, while officials were unable to verify a further Le41 million due to difficulty contacting the landlords of the properties in question.
“As such, the Ministry’s record of rent owing to private landlords was overstated by at least Le33 million,” the report concludes.
Most government quarters are in bad condition, while the few available are grossly inadequate for hundreds of middle and senior cadres in the service. Successive governments have made no efforts to build new residential apartments, although the number of civil servants continues to exponentially increase.