Standing Committee wants oversight on public department rentals

The Executive branch should task a specific department with the supervision and handling of public properties, a Standing Committee of the Legislative Assembly has proposed.
The Committee recently concluded studying a report submitted by the government relating to real estate expenditure for public departments. The report disclosed that between 2017 and 2019, the government spent between 820 and 860 million patacas on real estate rental.
Lawmaker Mak Soi Kun, head of the Committee, revealed that the Committee has made several suggestions to the government. First, that the government should reexamine the appropriateness of renting private properties. It should create a list of empty government-owned properties with relevant dates and the reason for vacating them.
The Committee thinks this will be a good way to evaluate how much the government has spent or wasted on rent instead of using these vacant properties.
It is especially crucial for the government to reexamine the issue because it concerns public finance and efficiency of governance, according to Mak. More importantly, this year the city will see a budget deficit. The extensive rental of private properties should be handled and supervised by a specific bureau, the Committee suggests.
Of all government departments, the Public Administration and Civil Service Bureau and the Cultural Affairs Bureau had the biggest expenditure on office rentals and on warehouse rentals, respectively, in 2019. AL

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