The Office of the Mayor and Clerk has issued a statement in response to Cr. Billy Abae’s misleading claims of missing money from the fire extinguishers issued by the Council published in the Solomon Star.
To clarify the matter, the statement affirmed that as agreed by the Honiara City Council Core Coordinating Committee (The 4Cs), the HCC Management under requirements of the Physical Planning Section in the Honiara City Council Business License Application Form, made it compulsory for business houses to Acquire HCC Approved Fire Protection Extinguisher.
The decision was made by members of the 4Cs including the former Chairman for Finance Standing Committee Abae. Other members of the 4Cs are chairpersons of Key Strategic Standing Committees.
As a trial project, the HCC Approved Extinguishers Programme was outsourced and implemented under the Public-Private Partnership programme.
The private entity sourced the fire extinguishers and the public entity (HCC) used the extinguishers as a precondition to obtaining a Business License for safety purposes of lives and properties in the city.
The statement states that Councillor Abae is fully aware of this arrangement as a business license is a core function of the Finance Division.
“As for the ‘Missing Money’ under the arrangement as this is on a trial basis, HCC is required to reimburse in full the principle amount of capital that is expended by the private entity.”
“It must be made clear that, the money was never missing nor deposited into the HCC General Account but reimbursed appropriately.”.
“It is a pity that when things are politically tough for us, we tend to make a roundabout and blame the council as if we are innocently not part of the decision,” the statement concluded.
– HCC Media