Minister emphasizes public accounts improvements

| 27/10/2014

(CNS): Despite the damning revelations about the state of government book-keeping in the latest auditor general’s reports the finance minister insisted on Friday that things were improving. Marco Archer told his legislative colleagues that since those reports were undertaken the current government has made a number of changes and is committed to improving the management of the public finances. The minister said that there had been important personnel changes in the ministries which had been exposed has having the most problems. Archer said he now expected the quality of financial reporting to improve. He added that there would be amendments to the PMFL to address other concerns as well.

Speaking in the Legislative Assembly on Friday about the reports conducted by Alastair Swarbrick’s team at the auditor general’s office and made public last week, Archer said there were still challenging times ahead with a lot of work to do but he said solutions were being developed. He said the current government inherited the current position but having campaigned on a ticket of transparency he said that the government would do all it could to achieve transparency in public finances.

He said over 90% of government entities received qualified or unqualified reports for the year ending 2012 but admitted that the quality of the overall government accounts would depend on every entity. If just one entity was disclaimed or received an adverse opinion the entire public sector statements would be disclaimed. Archer said it has been agreed with the auditor general that governments entire consolidated accounts for the year ending 2013/14 will get a qualified opinion but government was committed to achieving an unqualified opinion for this fiscal year’s accounts.

The minister said he and government finance officials have met with the auditor general to address the issues which are causing the continued disclaimers as he said the auditor was not satisfied that many of the financial statements were complete, accurate or fairly presented with insufficient evidence to support the balances.

He said as a result of the meeting the finance ministry was now developing a standardized submissions package to help the ministries and public authorities present their accounts and supporting documentation properly.

Acknowledging the concerns he said there was a concerted effort to strengthen internal controls to improve efficiency, safeguard assets and improve reliability and compliance with laws. However, Archer also noted that future valuations of government capital assets would also be done in the required format showing a full breakdown of the government’s property assets.

See related story on CNS and the OAG's latest reports below


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  1. Anonymous says:

    Mr spock it is illlogical that you can say that a billion is unaccounted for if you know the amount that was missing you have to know something about it otherwise you would just have to say money is missing

  2. Anonymous says:

    It WILL improve when heads start to roll!
    Too bad we still cling to the failed New Zealand system that was introduced by dinosaurs – still employed in the system.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I quote, "Archer said he now expected the quality of financial reporting to improve." So let us know if you are in agreement with Mr. Swarbrick's report! If you agree that would be a great start. Wake up and tell the people the truth are we will be forced to think that you are aligned with incompetence and lack of knowledge of the PPM Government. Can you as Minister of Finance simply ignore the $1B figure in the Auditor's Report – Archer; i have lost the little faith i had in you!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      11:07.UDP propaganda Dept hard at work.

      • Anonymous says:

        Moron; we are talikeng about $1,000,000,000,.00 – This is not a Political statement ; I am only asking a very pertinent question as ir relates to the CIG Finances!!!! Clearly your A** is up in the PPM Department.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Our political and public system is so rotten that many who are the perpetrators of impropriety simply take their actions as normal. Ranging from a past Premier, other MLAs and civil servants who abuse government credit cards to the current Premier who appeared in a commercial for a marble & tile company wearing their logo – it appears that ethics and integrity are an unknown in the public sector. As such, the status quo will remain unless Marco and his colleagues are willing to convince the Deputy Governor to clean house. But with all the Lodge connections that is unlikely.  

  5. Anonymous says:

    How the hell do we have 1 billion dollars unaccounted for and not a single person has lost their job?

  6. Big Gulp says:

    "The last known evaluation of post-retirement healthcare costs, which was done in 2004, estimated the liabilities at US$798 million. Mr. Archer stressed last week during a statement in the Legislative Assembly that those costs are estimated over a 20-year period and are not something Cayman’s government must pay in the short term." (Compass story)

    Oops. There goes another billion………….

  7. Anonymous says:

    Does this man still believe that there is a surplus when a billion dollars goes unaccounted for? Lord help Cayman

    • Anonymous says:

      That has nothing to do with the current surplus. They are aware the $1b was spent but it is not fully accounted for. Do some research before you type. 

  8. Anonymous says:

    What a complete joke I am so pissed with all of this nonsense. I also notice the deafening silence from the Government or anyone in the House on this entire mess. For Archer to try spin this any other way means he is also part of the problem or just as incompetent.

    A billion dollars can be un accounted for and all we can talk about is more plans and how things are improving. Majority of the financial statements produced are RUBBISH!!! They simply cannot be relied on. Looking at some of the details there are some ministries where the cash flow is not reconciling. Are you kidding me?!!!!!
    People we need to wake up and let these politicians know business as usual is not acceptable! We need to address this problem head on now!
  9. Soldier Crab says:

    What a joke 2 years later  and minister Marco believes things are improving with a billion dollar still unaccounted for? Any where else in the world heads would roll!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Did I miss it or was the missing $1,000,000,000.00 not mentioned by Mario Archer?

    So we can assume the money has simply disappeared so searching for the missing BLLION DOLLARS is unnecessary.

    Pehaps the voters have forgotten about it.

    Can you imagine the mismanagement if the Cayman Islands were independent?  It would be a free for all at the trough. Perhaps that is why some polticians are so big on independence.

    • Anonymous says:

          17:16.Is 1 billion dollars really missing,or is it the case that the Auditor General is not happy with the paperwork (  ie ,not properly accounted for) Could the Auditor General clarify?Just because money is not properly accounted for ,does not mean that money is missing .Let me explain.I give my secretary $100 to pay on my phone bill,which she does and gets a receipt.Unfortunately the receipt is unreadable because of a problem with the printer at the phone Co.In this case $100 is not properly accounted for because the receipt is not readable and therefore not a proper document.However ,it has not been stolen either,which some seem to assume is the case with the funds 'not properly accounted for' in the report.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Patting yourself on the back for improving slightly (but still failing) might be acceptable in pre-school but not when you are THE GOVERNMENT OF A COUNTRY responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars. Useless idiots.


  12. Anonymous says:

    These important "personnel changes" in the Departments of Tourism and District Administration , were the civil servants who were paid to produce the accounts and failed dismally due to incompetence,dismissed?.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Marco-get rid of ALL current CFO's, CO's, DCO's and get a new slate. Prior to them starting to work, lay down clear expectations and clear consequences for not meeting those expectations. Get tough on your actions toward them as a result of any wrong doing. This will not get better until the current slackers who are warming the seats now are replaced with productive, efficient, competent and knowledgeable people. Leaving who is there now- is simply recycling the problem. To close, didnt one of the CFO's who is now employed once work with one of the money transfer places. Goes to show who we have in charge of our finances.

  14. Nother Day says:

    Funny how the politicians of the day always circle the wagons, back the civil servants and double down on the status quo.

    The outsized influence of the largest voting bloc ensures that fiascos like the PFML will never be dealt with effectively.

    We have not had proper accounts since (1) the adoption of the PFML and (2) the advent of the party political system.

    Ten years of runaway public sector growth. Ten years of declining civil service performance. Ten years of terrible leadership.

    Does no one see the connection?


    • Anonymous says:

      Or, when they do get in and up close they realise the problem isn't in the Civil Service. But with (2) the PMFL and (1) politicians asking for numbers. Remember, numbers dont' lie but they are open to interpretation.

    • anonymous says:

      Marco is. One of the smartest, most conscientious persons I know.  If anyone can make a difference, he can.  But it will take time.

      Many of us are supporting you, Marco.  Blessings on you as you move forward.

  15. Anonyanmous says:

    Marco is one of the few persons in Government that understands the urgency of the situation.  I believe he will work diligently to solve the issue.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Marco Archer just doesn't get it or must not realize the PPM were in power 2005-09 and failed to sort out the financial reporting system then as well. Funds were wasted and unaccounted for the last time PPM held the purse strings. 

    Preparing substandard accounts for the entire government is not progress. Promises have been made for many years but things do not improve. People need to be fired including CO's and CFO's who get paid very well to provide the country with such poor performance.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Man is this guy clueless, have you ever heard of materiality? a disclaimer on one entity does not translate into an automatic disclaimerfor the entire public sector if the agency disclaimed is not material to the whole. Where does he get this stuff?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Great. So has the missing 1 billion turned up?

  19. Anonymous says:

    OK, sounds good, but why has it taken 2 years to get this far?

    This could and should have been day 1 as a priority if the Government was "comitted to transparency". Or is it like, well "half comitted, some of the time, well because Mummy is watching" rather than "hey, we would all be better off if we knew exactly where we stood and could therefore plan properly for a better future for Cayman"?