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Saturday , December 10 2022

Audit Bureau faults Municipality for failing to collect ‘114.5 million dinars’ in due fees

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KUWAIT CITY, June 28: The Audit Bureau revealed the continuation of observations that marred the encroachments of companies on state lands, despite the Kuwait Municipality’s competence to license and follow up any construction, excavation, extensions or any other work, whether related to a government establishments or others, based on Decree Law No. 18 of 1978 regarding safety systems and the protection of facilities, public resources and public wealth resources, reports Al-Qabas daily.

In its report on the results of the examination and review, and the most important observations on the municipality’s work for fiscal 2021-2022, of which Al-Qabas daily has obtained a copy, the Bureau stated that the municipality did not take the necessary measures to remove the encroachments on the government lands, and not collected the due fees thereof, indicating that the examination revealed that several companies exploited large areas of state land by setting up warehouses, facilities and other encroachments on stateowned lands, in several locations in all governorates, without obtaining the necessary licenses.

The Bureau added as a result of this the state lost huge sums of money which should have been collected in accordance with the decision of the Municipal Council, which set the occupancy fee at two dinars per square meter per month, for those who occupied state land without a license and until the end of the fiscal year ended 3/31/2022, 114,559,938 dinars should have been collected. The Bureau’s report revealed the shortcomings of the municipality’s procedures for removing companies’ encroachments on state property directly, especially after alerting these companies. The Bureau requested that it be provided with what has been done regarding the cases in which final judgments were issued, which the Bureau provided a statement in which within the jurisdiction of the municipality to follow up the progress of those cases and the procedures that were followed in the collection of state dues in coordination with the Ministry of Finance.

Measures
The Bureau criticized the failure to take the necessary measures regarding the repeated violations of the same companies, as the examination revealed that the municipality did not take the necessary measures against the companies that were previously warned and issued several violations against them, and the same type of violation was repeated on different dates without removing those violations, stressing that necessary measures must be taken against companies that continue to infringe on state property and report what is being done.

The report indicated the absence of a mechanism that regulates the municipality’s follow-up of the expired licenses of companies and their violations records. After checking the records it was revealed that there is no mechanism or system to tighten control over the reports of violations observed by the Municipality, since it was noted that violations were registered against the same companies for more than 3 years without taking action.

Weakness
Moreover, the delay in disclosing the expired licenses of some companies indicates the weakness of the municipality’s follow-up to the minutes of violations and the detection of expired licenses. The Bureau criticized the weakness of the control systems regarding monitoring infringements on state property, as it was found through the examination and the municipal clerk that the necessary measures were not taken regarding some infringements on state property in separate areas, after it was noticed through satellite images that there were some infringements in private housing plots and agricultural holdings in separate areas in the country, despite the possibility of monitoring and limiting these infringements and violations through maps, organizational and survey plans using aerial and satellite images, and fixing all violating sites with their coordinates by the Survey Department, the competent departments of the municipality did not limit these infringements and take the necessary measures in their regard.

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