Makana clar­i­fies ac­counts hold-up

Grocott's Mail - - NEWS - By SUE MACLEN­NAN

Makana Mu­nic­i­pal­ity has urged res­i­dents and other ratepay­ers to pay what they did last month, in the ab­sence of a municipal rates and ser­vices ac­count for Au­gust 2017. And they say they will rec­om­mend to Coun­cil that any in­ter­est on over­due pay­ments for this pe­riod be writ­ten off.

In a let­ter to ratepay­ers also sent yes­ter­day to me­dia, act­ing CFO Colleen Mani said de­lays meant Makana’s ac­counts had not yet been aligned to the new stan­dard­ised re­port­ing sys­tem, Municipal Stan­dard Chart of Ac­counts (mSCOA).

The aim of the new sys­tem is for all mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties to re­port in a stan­dard for­mat. “The in­for­ma­tion con­tained in th­ese [mSCOA] re­ports can be more eas­ily an­a­lysed and com­pared by the users of this in­for­ma­tion,” Mani said. “In the case of Makana Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, some de­lays, which were com­pletely be­yond our con­trol, were en­coun­tered around the align­ment of the Bud­get to the Gen­eral Ledger in the new mSCOA for­mat.

“Of­fi­cials and con­sul­tants have been work­ing around the clock to re­solve th­ese is­sues. Of im­por­tance to res­i­dents is, amongst oth­ers, the fact that all the billing in­for­ma­tion on their ac­counts had to be coded and linked man­u­ally in the new mSCOA for­mat to en­sure that the in­for­ma­tion con­tained on the in­voices sent out, is re­flected cor­rectly in the Gen­eral Ledger of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

“We wish to urge res­i­dents to pay the same amount as their pre­vi­ous ac­count(s) while this process is be­ing com­pleted. Any cor­rec­tions will be at­tended to af­ter the process had been com­pleted.”

Mani said as far as the in­ter­est levied on over­due ac­counts for the af­fected pe­riod was con­cerned, Sec­tion 64(2) (g) of the Municipal Fi­nance Man­age­ment Act states that a mu­nic­i­pal­ity must charge in­ter­est on ar­rears, un­less the coun­cil has granted an ex­emp­tion.

“We wish to as­sure the com­mu­nity that an item will be sub­mit­ted to Coun­cil rec­om­mend­ing that the in­ter­est re­lat­ing to the af­fected pe­riod be writ­ten off,” Mani said. “We apol­o­gise for the in­con­ve­nience caused, and wish to give the as­sur­ance that all ef­forts are fo­cused on re­solv­ing the prob­lem a mat­ter of ur­gency.”

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