CIG to move financial year

| 21/11/2013

(CNS): The government has made the decision to move its fiscal year, which currently runs from 1 July through to 30 June, to match the calendar year. Announced by Finance Minister Marco Archer when he delivered the PPM government’s future fiscal plans and related policies, the change will begin on 1 January 2016. Simultaneously, government will be introducing multi-year budgeting, which will see an 18 month budget delivered at the end of this fiscal year followed by a two year budget on 1 January 2016. Despite the complexities and expense of changing the fiscal year, Archer said it would bring numerous benefits. 

Delivering the Strategic Policy Statement (SPS) in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday morning, the finance minister said the beginning of 2016 was earliest possible opportunity to make the fiscal year change but it would bring several advantages.

Government collects the bulk of its revenue from the financial services sector between January and March, he noted, so government will start its year when money is coming in but it will know early on in the fiscal year if there is a fall-off in revenue, giving government more time to take action. Archer explained that currently, with the fiscal year beginning on 1 July, it is nine months into the year before it is known that there may be a problem in the area where it collects most of its earnings.

The minister pointed out that the transition would avoid the current problem of producing two sets of statistics for both the calendar year and the fiscal year, facilitating clearer public information on government finances and the economy.

Archer said that the changes would be reviewed frequently and systematically but the longer budgets will see government take a more medium term view of public finances, which he said was superior to the start-stop of the current single year budgets.

The minister announced the formation of a new committee to undertake a comprehensive review of the Public Management and Finance Law led by government back-bencher and chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Roy McTaggart. As well as focusing on core government, the PMFL review will also examine statutory authorities and government companies, he said.

The PMFL will need to be changed to switch the financial year, which will also see the issue of the local election cycle resolved. Although it would have been cheaper to change the election date, the political issue of an administration gaining or losing six months appears to have been insurmountable, leading to what will be a much greater undertaking on the part of government to change the fiscal year.

Check back to CNS for more on the SPS and the LA motion for debate on it moved by the premier.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Shuffling the financial deckchairs on the good ship Cayman before it hits an iceberg….

    Sort out the financial statements first, I think.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The only one I believe in.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It is good to know that Mr Archer, who was a major player in the financial reform movement that led to the PMFL, is there as Minister to oversee some modifications while presumably retaining the excellent accounting and fiscal responsibility principles that underpin it. He will be aware that there is at least one intellectually and accounting skills-challenged senior manager at the top of his ministry who would like to return to the old days of voodoo Treasury bookeeping when only that person and maybe one other knew anything about what was going on with the country's finances and bills didn't get paid to providers until almost a year after they came due. Please, Minister, do not let us return to that old cash based mess. As a leading financial center we deserve better.

  4. Chris says:

    Good work Marco.

    There is no one single decision that is going to get us out of the mess we are in but a series of small prudent decisions.


    Changing the year end is one of them.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Now do OMOV.

  6. Anonymous says:

    So does that mean that they will not change the elections to November, 2016? Figured as much!!!

    • Hancock says:

      Think outside the envelope Marco. Change the year end to February 29 and do accounts every four years.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Well done. Applause for this good decision.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Don't care about changing year end.  As a citizen all I need to know that my tax dollars are spent appropriately.  All I want is a timely unqualified audited report for govt operations from the auditor general.  The fiscal period is irrelevant to me as a tax payer.  No business can make decisions based on erroneous accounting records or reports.  How can I, a taxpayer, be comfortable that the decisions the govt makes are appropriate knowing that they are based on incomplete or inaccurate data.  

    Mr. Archer, 

    With all due respect which you deserve, would you kindly comment on what steps the govt is taking to ensure timely unqualified reporting? 


    • Anonymous says:

      You probably wouldn't recognize a set of unqualified financials if it jumped up and bit you in the @ss. All you people jumping on the unqualified report bandwagon, do a google search, find one Government on the entire planet that uses International Public Sector Accounting Standards and have produced financials with an unqualified opinion. Right, now sit down and be quiet.

      • Bear Baiter says:

        Really? If so, let's us be the first to do so and lead the way for the rest of the world!  Sure couldn't hurt to have a world wide reputation for transparency and honesty! (Unless of course you're a UDP membrer/politician!)

    • Anonymous says:

      Moving the financial year is one of the small steps he is taking to help the government meet its financial reporting obligations.


      The journey to responsible financial reporting is a long journey that is made up of many, many small steps.

  9. MarcoNomics says:

    Good. It’s like trying to turn the Titanic around but at least Marco is trying.

    Why does everything at the govt level have to be so very hard???

  10. Anonymous says:

    Rationale move from the rationale Minister.  Resolving the election issue is just icing on the cake and ultimately having the election cycle outside of hurricane season will be beneficial for the long term.


    • Anonymous says:

      Good job Marco, this makes sense! Wonder why the recent past Minister of Finance did not think of that??