65 lots given to customers with income more than $50k

The Housing Authority building in Valelevu. Picture: SUPPLIED

Housing Authority of Fiji had allocated 65 lots to customers in the various subdivisions whose annual income exceeded $50,000.

This, according to the auditor-general who reviewed the authority’s records from January 1, 2010 to July 20, 2020.

The finding is contained in the Auditor-Generals’ Housing Authority – Special Investigation on Allotment of Lots and Tender Process report that was tabled in Parliament on Monday.

The Auditor-General said he was unable to sight a letter of approval from the Ministry of Housing and Community Development for 29 of the 65 customers.

“Customers in the database whose income was less than $50,000 at the time of filling in demand survey forms, but exceeded $50,000 at the time of allotment were given due consideration,” states the report.

“However, there was no evidence that a systematic and transparent approach was followed to select customers whose income exceeded $50,000.

“The authority did not maintain any proper record of customers whose applications were sent to the Ministry of Housing and Community Development for approval.

“The Ministry of Housing and Community Development was unable to provide documentation for ministerial approval for the years 2015 and 2016. We were also not provided with the supporting documents for ministerial approvals which were submitted by the authority.”

“It was established from the Ministry of Housing and Community Development records that was made available for review for 2017 showed that the initial pay slips provided by customers were not submitted with the applications to the ministry.

“This would have been useful as evidence that the customer was earning below $50,000 at the time of the initial application.

“There was no evidence to indicate that the ministry performed the necessary due diligence to confirm the initial pay of the customers during the approval process.”

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