HONIARA City Council has failed to rake in approximately millions of dollars of revenue from establishments in Honiara, according to the council’s Finance chair Eric Tema.
In an exclusive interview on Wednesday, Mr Tema said the council’s finance does not rake in more revenues since post-ethnic tension period to date.
“According to reports from our Accounts Division, revenues worth millions have not been collected from business establishment in the city,” Mr Tema said.
“So our newly formed finance ad hoc committee will address this loop holes,” he added.
Mr Tema said the committee will relook at accounts archival records and start demanding the business houses to pay their dues.
“Business houses that fail to pay up their licences and imposed fees will be ordered to pay in full or installment and backdated to the start of their operations
“Our accounts and enforcement team will approach these business houses this year for their dues.”
Mr Tema said to patch up the loose ends of revenue collection wall; they have formed the finance ad hoc committee on 28th December 2017 after they pass the 2018 budget.
Purpose of this committee is to identify and advise the finance standing committee and finance division through the office of the Mayor and the City Clerk on daily matters pertaining to;
– Robust revenue collection for 2018 financial year
– Proper retirement of council funds (internal or external)
He explained that with this new endorsement, they hope to rake in more income to keep the HCC running and services delivered to the wards and city residents’ welfare.
“For past years, the council does not exercise its full power to collect its revenue from the business houses and establishments in the city.
“With this in place, we will work with our finance and law enforcement division to rake in more income from the fees and such rates,” the Tuvaruhu ward councilor said.
“We will develop necessary policy and procedures that the council needs to develop its revenue collection,” he added.
“So enforcing and complying with this latest set up is what we will work on for now.”
Asked how transparent and responsible will the officers from the accounts and law enforcement will be in their revenue collection process, the Finance Chair said they have confidence and trust.
“HCC accounts and law enforcement officers approaching the businesses or accounts personnel collecting the revenues are trustworthy.
“We ensure they follow the right procedures and produce receipts for each payment,” he said, adding that policies they develop will address possible malpractices.
He also emphasized on the budgetary mechanisms.
“The budget is not for HCC as most city dwellers always claim.
“It is to improve the people’s welfare and in all development spheres.”
By TEDDY KAFO