Still no public accounts

| 27/03/2012

usefulpic.jpg(CNS): Despite government’s claims that it had turned a corner on public finances, the goal to produce entire public sector financial statements for the last financial year has still not been achieved. According to the Public Management and Finance Law, the government is supposed to produce the audited full accounts for public scrutiny in the December following the end of a financial year. This has not happened since 2004 and although officials said government would produce these accounts for the financial year 2010/11, the audit office has confirmed that the accounts will not be ready before June, some twelve months after the end of that financial year and six months late.

“At the end of October 2011, the government provided the Office of the Auditor General with its draft 2010-11 Entire Public Sector (EPS) financial statements for audit,” a spokesperson for the auditor general’s office confirmed Tuesday. “This was the first time the government had presented EPS financial statements for audit since 2003-04.  Since receiving the draft statements, the Office of the Auditor General has been working with finance officials to obtain the necessary information to complete the audit.  We have agreed with government and set a deadline to issue our report by the end of June 2012.”

In August public officials claimed the submission of accounts by all public sector entities by the PMFL deadline as an achievement because it was the first time since the law was introduced in 2005 that the government had managed to meet its obligation under the law.

However, in his update on the state of public accounts in December, Auditor General Alastair Swarbrick said that in the case of at least eight entities the information submitted was not sufficient for the office to begin an audit and warned that the quality of information submitted by those that had made the deadline was not necessarily of sufficient quality for his office to audit.

Nevertheless, the premier, in his role as finance minister, described it as a “great accomplishment” and when government submitted Consolidated Financial Statements to Auditor General by the 31 October deadline, McKeeva Bush said “another important milestone” had been reached. “These two accomplishments demonstrate the government’s determination to improve public accountability and reporting,” he said in November.

However, in his December report Swarbrick said he had concerns about many of the submissions, in particular both the premier and the deputy premier’s ministries. He said that it was difficult to say whether the quality of information submitted for the consolidated accounts would enable the public to gain a comprehensive view of how government has spent tax payer’s money in the last financial year.

Swarbrick warned that getting accounts in on time was only the first step in the process of government's accountability to legislators and the public at large.

The quality and credibility of the accounting and performance information government submits for audit is important, he said, as the reports are fundamental when it comes to informing legislators and the public how the dollars collected from them in duties and fees are used.

“It is important that legislators and decision makers have good financial information on which to base their decisions,” Swarbrick said. “The information has to be as reliable and accurate as possible as well as timely.”

He explained that the information is how legislators hold government to account for the money it has spent and how money should be used and appropriated in future years. The general public needs “to be able to see how the fees and duties they have paid have been used,” he explained.

In addition, a significant number of annual reports that have been completed and audited remain outside of the public domain because the Legislative Assembly has not met for more than three months and the reports have not been tabled.

The audit office has confirmed that Swarbrick will be issuing an updated report in May and will reveal at that time if the Cayman public will be any closer to ever seeing how the government they have elected has spent the duty, fees and taxes collected from the people.

Category: Politics

Comments (33)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    "although officials said government would produce these accounts for the financial year 2010/11, the audit office has confirmed that the accounts will not be ready before June, some twelve months after the end of that financial year and six months late."

    CNS, you makes it seem as though the Government did not meet the deadline for the 10/11 accounts when in fact later on in your article you then state: 

     

    “At the end of October 2011, the government provided the Office of the Auditor General with its draft 2010-11 Entire Public Sector (EPS) financial statements for audit,” a spokesperson for the auditor general’s office confirmed Tuesday. “This was the first time the government had presented EPS financial statements for audit since 2003-04.  Since receiving the draft statements, the Office of the Auditor General has been working with finance officials to obtain the necessary information to complete the audit.  We have agreed with governmentand set a deadline to issue our report by the end of June 2012.”

    It would appear that the accounts have been completed and produced as promised but it is the audit of those accounts and the auditor's report that will not be completed until June 2012. 

  2. Anonymous says:

    Our accountant broke the law by not filing, but he looks good and can offer you a discount at a local gym. He was chosen by the best, so quit your complaining, and start making a contribution to pick up the slack of your supervisors who keep giving the gift of incompetence that keeps on giving…frustration that is. 

  3. Anonymous says:

    The day before the 2013 election, Government will be $25 million in the black.    The day after the election reality will bite.                           

                               

  4. Anonymous says:

    any comment mr governor????

  5. Knot S Smart says:

    The accounts are delayed because the Finance Minister had to go to China to have his calculator adjusted.

    Instead of showing that 1+1 = 5, it was showing 1+1 = 2.

    So obviously he cant discuss the accounts until the &^%$#ng  Chinese figure out how to get his calculator fixed!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I imagine they will not give us any proven figures before the election.

  7. Anonymous says:

    START FIRING those who cannot, or will not, do their job.

    • Anonymous says:

      firing people???? in the civil service…hahahah….they will get another pay rise sooner!

    • Anonymous says:

      You can't fire for incompetence in grand Cayman.  Its their island.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Great Pic!!! Pull him out by the ankles and let him see the light of day!! Its will be much easier to do the accounts out of the dark!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    The picture is symbolic of the manner in which the UDP have conceived their ideas…

  10. Anonymous says:

    On Monday  1 + 1 = 2

    On Tuesday 1 + 1 = 11

    Shame on people that would expect any better from Puppet Mac.

     

     

  11. Anonymous says:

    "Drive shaft teeth are missing".

    I doubt they can do entry level jobs, their drive shaft have missing teeth,

    just sitting and waiting for the day they can collect  2/3 of their monthly pay

    and then get rehired as consultants,

    then they can join their co-horts with a pension and a salary all payed 4 by US. 

    WHAT  a disgrace, it's not going to get any better!!!! sorry to say.

    it has become t6he norm.

    those that can do something, will do nothing,  are also earning as much as they can

    as the

    merry go round  comes to a stop.

  12. Peanuts says:

    No I cant belive it, after all the BS talk from mac and foolio. I am now sure that we have a clueless, gutless, bunch off XXXXX running things. By the way awesome picture, the perfect cartoon for the story. Shame, Shame on all those who are still sucking up.

  13. Anonymous says:

    We can't, we CAN'T, WE CAN'T!!!

     

    We can't get our facts straight.  We can't get our planning straight.  We can't get our projects straight.  We can't get our goals straight.  We can't budget.  We can't follow the law.  We can't follow the constitution.  We can't tell the truth.  And . . .

     

    . . . WE CAN'T LEAD OUR NATION!!!

     

    I guess the pretty much sums it up.

     

    Sincerely, your elected (or otherwise appointed friends of) ruling party.

     

     

  14. Anonymous says:

    What is the point of having a law in place when those in charge can just ignore it with impunity as there is no provision for us taxpayers to hold them to account under that law?

    This is what we get when we vote in one party, get frustrated with their incompetence so vote in the other party, only to find they are just as bad. So next election, do we vote in the same guys who we thought were useless 4 years ago? (can guarantee that they have not improved in the 4 years).

    Bring on one man one vote in single member per constituencies. That way we just may get some competent elected members with integrity.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Are their accountants qualified to do the job? If so, who qualified them? How much does it cost ( in wages, benefits etc.) to produce statements that are not sufficient for an audit. 

  16. Anonymous says:

    I bet Dan Duguay was mighty relieved when they decided not to renew his contract.

    This is like following the proverbial elephants with a bucket and shovel trying to pick up their XXXX.

  17. EYE ON THE ISLAND says:

    Who is in charge of the government? That's the problem. He may not even be on the Island.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Hilarious pic! Love it. It just about sums up the competence of our money people who can hardly count.

    Seriously, accounting has been transformed into sleight of hand. Whatever happened to keeping a simple record of what you spend, where you spend it and what you have coming in?

    Yet these accountants and bankers and liquidators and other parasites get to drive the fancy cars. Beam me up Scotty!

    • Mr C says:

      I think that they should all get a maths test and those that fail should go back to school.

  19. Anonymous says:

    You Ministers are, pretty much, all pathetic.

     

  20. Anonymous says:

    And our government has the nerve to tell us they are promoting the Cayman Islands as a financial centre. 

    Any success we have is not because of, but despite them.

     

     

  21. Anonymous says:

    How many years has government NOT produced accounts now?

    How many people have been held accountable? (Stupid question, the word "account" is in it.)

    How may people have been fired for NOT doing their jobs?

    Although our current Minister of Finance is totally unsuitable for the position, this is not a UDP problem. Indeed, its a much greater problem than one party. Its a complete lack of understanding of the importance of accounts and thus a lack of will to do anything about the problem. 

    All voters should know this. We will pay for the incompetence of the people we put in power. This fact is a major reason our cost of living is so high. So the next time we complain about the cost of things, think of who we placed in charge of our money.

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      You forgot to ask HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE there "trying" to produce reports. May be just like Cayman police of 450 people ( 1 policemen for every 100 residents) they don't actually know what they are doing, what they should be doing and how they should be doing it. 

  22. Anonymous says:

    …."Swarbrick said he had concerns about many of the submissions, in particular both the premier's and deputy premier's ministries". It is worthy of note that at the time Mr Swarbrick was commenting, both these ministries were headed by chief officers who were totally opposed to reform in the civil service in general and in the financial reforms in particular and neither made much effort to ensure the PMFL was complied with. With new more forward looking chief officers in place, things should improve.

    • Anonymous says:

      If your comment was made in jest then well made. The sad reality is that under the new Constitution it is the Ministers who choose their chief officers according to characteristics that the Ministers approve of. Competence is not a prerequisite.

      • Anonymous says:

        See no evil, Hear no evil, and for goodness sake don't talk about what you do see and hear.

      • Anonymous says:

        10:27, you are totally, completely, absolutely (er, you get the point) wrong. Please quote the part of the Constitution which "supports" your statement.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Might it be that the accounts and the Census information that government has not released both contain "inconvenient truths" that those in power feel should not be released until after May 2013?

  24. Anonymous says:

    What an absolute disgrace!  A Minister of Finance who apparently has not a clue what he is doing other than look for the next flight and listening for the next boarding call and a Financial Secreatry and a bunch of deputies that can't decide where to place the numbers for the deficit ie is it 18 million or 81 million?  The law says clearly what is required and when it is due, why can't they produce it on time?  They all need to be reassigned to entry level jobs I'd say and give other people a chance to do what really needs to be done.