Friday, 7 November 2008 2:13 PM

Investigate Sale of Twin Towers: OAG

The Office of the Auditor General (OAG) has called on the Government to seek further legal advice on the sale of the "twin tower buildings" and the "Herons Club" in the town ground area in west Honiara.

In its June 2008 Report the OAG reviewed the two properties to establish whether proper procedures were followed in their sale.

The report has found that in the case of the Herons Club, the government entered an agreement with the current owner to buy back the land to build more government offices.

The Government has paid the agreed amount of SBD$1.97 Million; however the property vendor is refusing to vacate the premises as he is claiming the government owes him more money.

In the case of the twin tower buildings, which were previously occupied by public servants, these were sold as a result of an approval by Cabinet.

The OAG has however identified that there were certain breaches of Cabinet instructions in the signed grant instrument which requires further legal advice.

. The OAG has also identified similar cases and call on the government to investigate them further. They include employees refusing to vacate government houses as there was no alternative housing provided and therefore no development has commenced on the site;

. A company was offered a substitute parcel as the original parcel they applied for was allocated to someone else. This substitute parcel however is government quarters and government employees are currently staying there; and,

. Three out of six parcels that related to sales of government houses between 2001 and 2005 did not have Cabinet approval, valuation documents or any justification for the sale property.

The OAG report has also revealed many other cases of possible misappropriation of public funds, abuse of powers, and clear thefts of public funds.

SOURCE: Press Release