MELAKA: Weaknesses in the Heritage charge collections by local authorities in Melaka resulted in lost revenue of RM498,708, the Auditor-General’s Report for the Melaka State Government and Agencies as well as Compliance Audit for State Departments/Agencies 2022 revealed.
Based on the report issued on Monday (Nov 27), the Historic Melaka City Council, the Hang Tuah Jaya Municipal Council and the Alor Gajah Municipal Council did not collect heritage charges from hotel operators, which under the Heritage Charge System’s User’s Guide requires hotel operators to declare the number of rented rooms and make bi-monthly payments to the local authorities the following month.
"The audit revealed that a total of RM349,960 in heritage charges were uncollected by three councils from hotel operators in that year, which is the difference between the amount of heritage charges declared by hotel operators compared to the total paid by hotel operators to the three councils,” the report said.
A total of RM148,748 in heritage charges were not declared by hotel or homestay operators and uncollected by the local authorities, and there were inaccuracies in the calculation of heritage charges paid to the local authorities to the state government from 2018 to 2022, with MPTHJ paying only RM1.31mil, or 60% of the collected monies, to the state.
"The audit on the payment vouchers to the state government shows that MPTHJ paid RM245,998 in three payment vouchers for 2018 and 2019, but according to the audit’s calculations, the total that is supposed to be paid for the period is RM277,903. A difference of RM31,905 in collections was unpaid to the state government,” the report noted.
The audit recommended that local authorities need to issue reminders to hotel operators to ensure that heritage charges are paid according to the correct period based on the prepared guidelines and to monitor and check hotel operator records to ensure the accuracy of the heritage charges declared. – Bernama