Still no sign of EPS report

| 30/10/2013

(CNS): In his latest report on the state of government’s book-keeping the auditor general has found that progress is being made towards clearing its backlog but there is still no sign of a full report from government on what it did with the public’s money. While most entities are managing to meet relevant statutory deadlines, Alastair Swarbrick said there were still challenges with the quality of information submitted to his office. Despite a decade of problems relating to public accounting and significant resources being investedin trying to address them, it is ten years since the government last produced an Entire Public Sector consolidated account of its expenditure. Not only that but more than a quarter of public authorities still failed to submit enough information for audit of the 2011/12 financial year.

By 30 September of this year, fifteen months after the financial year end, audits for twelve government entities have still not been completed for the year ending 30 June 2012, which continues to prevent government from publishing the full picture of how it spends tax payer’s money. Despite the requirements under the Public Management and Finance Law, the government’s bean counters still seem incapable of following the law and doing their job for a catalogue of reasons

The auditor general also reported that there are still nine audits from 2005 through 2011 that are still not completed but he said the backlog was at the point where it should no longer impact the ability of the government to become current with its books.

Swarbrick said he intended to report more comprehensively on the outcomes of his audits of the financial statements for the year ending 30 June 2012 in the near future, including the situation regarding the full consolidate report of the entire public sector.

"There continues to be progress in the timeliness of financial reporting, with increasing numbers being completed within the statutory timescales or significantly earlier than had previously been the case,” he said.  “However there continues to be a number of entities where challenges still exist to moving forward the timeliness of financial reporting,” Swarbrick warned. His office, he said, would continue to work with government to address the issues, and the goal was to “move forward the quality and timeliness of financial reporting to ultimately enable accountability and transparency in government finances to be restored.”

Of the completed audits for 2011/12, three ministries, the Cabinet office and nine statutory authorities still received qualified opinions. In addition, only twelve of the public authorities who have completed last year’s audits have had those tabled in the Legislative Assembly, enabling the public to see the state of financial affairs for those government entities.

See the full report below or visit the Office of the Auditor General website.

Category: Politics

Comments (21)

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  1. PM says:

    This is a classic case of a failed project.

    Rather than continue to wallow in sorrows and pour good money after bad simply declare the project a failure and revert to the previous system. At least we were able to get accounts produced under the old system.

  2. Knot S Smart says:

    Off with their heads…

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well Franz, what are you gonna do with all these non-performing Chief Officers who are responsible for having these accounts in order?

  4. Anonymous says:

    I joined the civil service around the year 2000.

     

    At that time the PMFL was being introduced.

     

    At the time I thought that the move to accrual accounting made sense both from a theoretical and practical points of view.

     

    At the time I thought that the move to output reporting was sheer madness. It made sense from a purely theoretical perspective but in practice it was going to be impossible to implement.

     

    15 years later I have not changed my mind. The best thing the government can do now is back out of the PMFL and replace it with  a much simpler and more practical input reporting system.

     

    Give it 2 years to settle down and then we will have a chance at producing auditable accounts.

     

  5. Anonymous says:

    This can be fixed in one easy step: MLAs tell the heads of the government departments to account for their spending or lose their job. That's all it would take.

    Of course they don't want to do that because they don't want anyone to know what all the cash has been splurged on for the last decade because people would be angry knowing that instead of good schooling for our kids, a strong police force to stop crime, healthcare, roads, environmental protection and all the other things that benefit the whole country the money has been wasted through incompetence and spent on lavish benefits and perks for themselves and their buddies without regard for the country.

    And we have let them get away with it for a decade. A very, very strong message needs to be sent to the LA from the people to tell them to stop ripping us off.

  6. Bean Counter says:

    Amazing stuff when you realize that  Ten, diez, zehn, dieci years and NO CIG consolidated accounts by successive elected governments.

    What exactly is the Civil Service doing and why are persons who have failed for a decade still employed in the the CS? Mr. Manderson and Mr. Jefferson the buck stops with you where is the accountability and good governance?

  7. Anonymous says:

    What this country needs is an honest Financial Controller.

  8. The Philosopher says:

    What is it, about these arrogant department heads who ignore their responsibility to produce these documents?

    I think what needs to happen, is that every head of a Statutory Authority and/or Department who are  responsible for producing  these audited accounts and who have not done so, should immediately be  put on "indefinite" unpaid leave. Then maybe we will see how quickly others will produce these documents in future. 

    On the other hand, in the Civil Service, there are so many promotions  of incompetent persons, to positions that are far beyond their scope of knowledge or experience that this could be a mitigating factor why none of these documents are fort-coming.

    I say, that  a directive should be given by The Governor, that every civil servant  who is being looked at as a potential candidate to fill any position of greater responsibility within Government, "must" be interviewed and approved by a panel of  public & private sector professionals whose expertise is in the discipline of whatever position it is to be filled! 

  9. Anonymous says:

    The apathy of the CIG is world class!  We bought and installed the software system to keep track years ago – but in the land of no consequences, nobody cares enough about the public funds (they spend) to learn how to use it and submit intelligible reports for their departments.  Please, enough coddling of these slugs!  Someone needs to get called to the boardroom and someone needs to get fired!  Do it!

  10. Anonymous says:

    can the last one to leave please turn-off the lights……..

  11. Anonymous says:

    Same $hit same people in charge same incompetent Civil $ervice

  12. Anonymous says:

    Minister Marco this is now a priority. No more excuses where is the accountability PPM?

  13. Anonymous says:

    When oh when will CIG make an example and FIRE some of the chief financial officers or heads of finance (or whatever other fancy name they give themselves)?. That a quarter of public aithorities have failed to submit sufficient information for an audit to be completed, shows absolute disregard for the law, a complete lack of accounting procedures and controls and smacks of either gross incompetance or gross negligence. Either way they just are not fit for purpose and should go now and stop being a very expensive cost to the taxpayers

  14. Bill Lumberg says:

    In addition to that EPS report I'm gonna need that TPS report also. And I'm going to need you to come in on Saturday, ok Peter? Great….

  15. Anonymous says:

    Fire the highly paid FS and all CFOs in the ministries and statutory agencies who have failed to comply or produce accounts that meet accepted professional standards!

  16. Anonymous says:

    For 10 years the public purse has been left open with no-one watching it, and with some questionable people in government and senior CS positions (to put it mildly).  No wonder we are broke and the economy is a shambles!  This should be the country's no.1 priority, even above the crime issue. Stop the looting and we can afford more police and better training, better schools and education, better everything.

    • Diogenes says:

      If you take $500K from a bank, you get 14 years in jail.  If you spend $600 million per annum of the peoples' money and cannot say what you spent it on, you get to keep a job as an MLA or as a head of department, either way on a massive salary and free medical.   Go figure. 

  17. Anonymous says:

    An island full of accountants and we can't get our own accounts done. It would be laughable if it wasn't soserious. This is the result of hiring friends and family rather than the best person for the job.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh, OOOOOOOOOO, what happened to the word "Accountability" they were bouncing around the wall of the Govt. building just 1 year ago?  See just words, no inforcement anywhare in government!

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree. The Government is worse off now than back in the days before they had an accountant for every Ministry/Portfolio. I thought things was supposed to get better when they got an accountant for every Ministry but it seems like all them accountants just collecting big salaries and not producing anything so whoever has to do the consolidated report, cant do it because they have incomplete information. What I don't understand is why those same accountants are still there. How can an accountant for a Ministry not produce accounts for several years and still have a job?Is it that no one have the guts to fire them? Are they Caymanians and the higher ups are afraid of a backlash for firing a Caymanian? Whether they is Caymanian or not, I say fire them if they are not performing. Worse if they are expats, just end that contract and send them home! And I dont undertand why more people are not making noise about this? People this is money they collected from duties and other indirect taxes, don't you all want to know how they spent the money, what they did with the money?  I want to know. They hike up the Customs duty and everything else so I want to know what they is doing with it.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Stop talking BS. I have been in government long enough to know that the government of these islands will never be able to produce any credible accounts that will be complaint with the PMFL. If you doubt me you should challenge the ability of the same auditor general to audit the output costing/performance. I guarantee you he cannot do it. Not until we have a government that takes the bull by the horn and change the stupid law, we will never get a set of credible accounts. All financial accountants have to be placed under the FS where he has direct control over them if we are to make any progress at all. Furthermore, we need to return to a centralise system of accounting and HR operation and the introduction of public service comission to prevent hiring of friends and selected individuals by one man, the Deputy Governor when it comes to all senior positions. It is crazy!