The Audit Bureau says the government lost 114.5 million dinars due in fees and said according to its observations this money should have been collected by the Kuwait Municipality from people or companies which had encroached on government property saying the Municipality should have followed up any construction, excavation, extensions or any other work, whether related to a government entity or others, based on Decree Law No. 18 of 1978 regarding the protection of facilities, public resources and public wealth resources.

In its report on the results of the examination and review, and the most important observations on the municipality’s work for the fiscal 2021-2022, of which a local Arabic daily has obtained a copy, the Bureau stated that the Municipality did not take the necessary measures to remove the encroachments on the state’s lands, and 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 state-owned lands, in several locations in the governorates, without obtaining the necessary licenses.

The Bureau added that what could be limited to the fees due 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 until the end of the fiscal year on 3/31/2022, was 114,559,938 dinars.

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.

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.

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 has 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 vouchers 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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