Up to date audit years away

| 08/01/2010

Cayman Islands news, Grand Cayman local news, Auditor General Dan Duguay(CNS): Despite the failure of mostgovernment entities to get their accounts in on time, Auditor General Dan Duguay said some government departments were making serious efforts to catch up and bring their books up to date but that the goal of a full set of accurate contemporary accounts is still years away. The government’s auditor said that close to a dozen departments and agencies are submitting accounts on time, but with so many lagging behind, some as much as four years, it is impossible for his office to complete any more full sets of audits on the overall government spending over the last few years.

Although government itself is able to keep track of revenue and expenditure through various internal systems, the delay in producing full sets of annual reports means that the public at large cannot scrutinize how their elected officialsare choosing to manage the country’s cash.

Duguay told CNS that, while he intended to conduct another review of how far forward government finance departments had come or even how far behind they still were, such a review would still not address the fundamental issue of government accountability. In order for the people to see how government policy is impacting earnings and spending government needs to be submitting transparent and up to date accounts into the public domain.

“People do need to be kept up to date on how government is managing its finances,” Duguay said, noting that until such a time as the majority of entities submit their accounts it is impossible for him to complete an accurate audit of the finances and tell the people whether  or not they are getting value for money as a whole from government.

Duguay did say, however, that there were some promising improvements among a number of the various departments and agencies. Close to a dozen organisations are now completely up to date and some others that were still behind had made marked improvements.

He said one of the most delinquent agencies in the past was the Heath Service Authority, but that management there had made an impressive effort to address the major problems of missing financial information that the authority faced, even if there was still work to do. Duguay explained that other organisations had moved from being delinquent to being fully compliant, but sadly there were still some departments and companies that continued to lag three or four years behind. “What we really need however, to address this problem, is consistency from all government departments,” Duguay stated.

During the election campaign the UDP candidates and the now chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Ezzard Miller, all said that this issue would be a priority and had to be addressed. While some six auditors have been employed to help CFOs catch up, it was recently revealed that it could still take as much as three years to get the books straight.

The requirement to produce quarterly reports under the Public Management and Finance Law has also been suspended to help speed up the process. However, Miller has said on a number of occasions that the government needs to return to the old system of cash accounting as the accrual system has simply failed. Whether it is meant to be an improved system is irrelevant, Miller has said, if CFOs are not able to manage the accounts that way.

With government providing no quarterly figures and an up to date full sets of government accounts still years away, voters are likely to face yet another election in 2013 without being fully versed on the fundamental political question on how the policies of their successive elected governments have affected the country’s revenuesand expenditures.

Category: Headline News

Comments (19)

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  1. Axe Man says:

    and yet the Financial Secretary still has a job

  2. Anonymous says:

    I see reality is smacking the UDP & Ezzard right in the face. They criticized the PPM for not getting this done and said they would have it done by the end of 2009.

    There are many more reality checks in the road ahead guys……buckle up !!!

    • Anonymous says:

      AMEN! ah wonda wha deh sayin now?!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, the way Ezzard talks, you’d think he would have been the great deliverer, but up until this point he hasn’t even called them before the committee to find out what tha hey is going on.

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

      One simple question……..what will the UK do when the borrowed money runs out soon, there are no new income streams and no substantial CIG cut backs………..as well as no up to date accounts ???? 

    • Anonymous says:

      You all should have learned from Ezzard’s track record in the past (all mouth & no action), & you all should have learned from UDP’s track record during 2001 to 2005 (well, I best not write what goes here)!

      It is always easier on the outside, & It is very easy to criticize, the UDP is great at that. Well folks, as they say "if we can’t learn we will feel" so as Anon 17:05 says "there are many more reality checks in the road ahead guys…..buckle up"!!!!!!!!!!!

      We should have known better, but now we shall feel

  3. Tick Tock says:

    Reduced incomes from hiked up duties, spiralling civil service costs without any cut in the spending, pensions unpaid, schools closed because the government can’t secure its debt, a leader who pockets cash for nation building and personal chefs and fails to move forward government accounts.

    Who needs a British conspiracy when the current Cayman government is teeing up direct rule all by itself?  "Foreign Secretary, it’s the Cayman Governor here, the time has come. . . "

    • StillgoingStrong says:

      McKeeva Bush has not oppose the advertisements sent out to hire him a personal Housekeeper/Cook (see the ad). And note there is no press release of him even speaking out against it. Sorry to say this, but usually politicians that don’t have no backbone and character, allow stink things to happen, and say nothing about it.

      It’s been past 10 days now, Mac, and the clock it ticking – we are waiting to see if you will speak out against this useless and unnecessary perk, which has the people (tax-payers) paying for your own Housekeeper/Cook with their own money.

      You know you are making a fat salary of more than sixteen thousand a month. As Government leader you was making 15… So we are not dumb! As the Premier you must be making close to 20.

      I understand that you have a Housekeeper already! This just makes me mad to think of it!

      We meed Politicians with BACKBONES – who are Principled!

      • Anonymous says:

        Hello 9:10. you sound like what Job told his wife, when she told him to curse God and die.  He said you speak like a folish woman, and so do you. You speak like a foolish person.  The PPM government is the one that set the Premier in order. Only one thing you fail to realize is the the PPM government sat all the criterias for the position.  One thing is missing here and that is  the ball bounced hard on the PPM foor on election day, causing McKeva Bush to be the Premier. Really, the PPM is who gave McKeva Bush a helper at the people expense.  You got it!! What I am telling you, stop beating up yourself about Mckeva Bush andhis helper, if it was Kurt the same benefits would had come with the title Premier.  You  need to sit a wait and see really what the PPM government had in mind when they were so instrumential in setting the title in place.  Now that they didn’t win the election  the Premier the benefits they had in place.  No No it do not work that way.

        • Anonymous says:

          you so fool fool. Can you please show me where it says, anywhere in the constitution, that the premier shall have all these benefits & "perks." I have looked & checked & checked & looked but I don’t see none of it. I may be missing something, I am not perfect like big mac, but I really cannot find it. I do not see it anywhere that it says that the premier must have perks, such as a full time driver, a $35,000 per year housekeeper, 5 star hotel vacations, 1st class air travel & all the other "perks" that you, he & the UDP claim was put in the constitution by the PPM! I may be over looking it, so please tell us all where the new constitution makes provisions for this, please.

  4. Thanks for the money. says:

    And when all the money was gone and all the future was borrowed against the leaders asked "any questions?" And the people all said Baaaaaaaa Baaaaaaaaaaa Baaaaaaa!  Some louder than others.

    Then the leader closed the door to the only house left and went to bed happy.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hey everyone – don’t you know that CFO’s stands for Can’t Find Our $$.

    Sign Me.

    The puppet-master has plenty of puppets and the CFO’s has got plenty of titles and degrees but little moral courage!!

  6. livingcayman says:

    What have the CFO’s been doing all those years.  It is this time to get rid of them and go back to the way things were before they gottheir it might have been slow getting the reports but at aleast they where up todate. 

    Getting rid of them would save Government money.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Haha, what a farce.

  8. Joe Bananas says:

    If your bank (where you put your money) told you "we don’t know how much of your money we took or what happened to it (but) we are working on it and will have that info for you in a few years."  What would you do?

    It appears that if you are Caymanian you would keep putting your money in that bank!  I would say watch but there is nothing to indicate what happens to your money.  It is going somewhere but nothing can be seen.  Except for maybe the reports from the Premeir that we are all haveing a great time in (fill in the blank) glad your not here!  A fool and his money are soon parted.

    • Anonymous says:

      A fool and his money are soon partying…. is what you meant Jo Bananas…LOL!

      • Joe Bananas says:

          Thats what I wish I said.  so true.

      • Anonymous says:

        partying in Dubai & India? (while our country is "bankrupt" & the people are suffering). Is that what you meant?