CIG accounts almost there after a decade of trying

| 17/01/2018 | 24 Comments

(CNS): The auditor general has produced a report analysing the government’s financial accounts for the year ending June 2016 and for the first time since the accounting system changed in 2005, none of the 42 entities audited received an adverse or disclaimed opinion and 30 managed an unqualified one. But a number of long-term problems, such as the failure to state liabilities for civil servant benefits and deficiencies in internal controls, means public revenue reporting is not complete, leaving the consolidated accounts across government with an adverse audit opinion.

Nevertheless, after more than a decade the government is nearly there and Auditor General Sue Winspear said improvements were being made each year on the quality and timeliness of annual financial reporting.

“Progress in government financial reporting continues to be made, with 30 entities receiving an unqualified audit opinion in 2015/2016, the highest number yet, and there are no adverse or disclaimed entity audit opinions at all,” she said. “This is markedly better than only four years ago, when over half of all entities received either a qualified, adverse or disclaimed audit opinion.”

Winspear noted, “It is also pleasing that for the first time in 2015/2016, all government ministries, offices and portfolios, as well as many of government’s statutory authorities and government companies, produced an annual report to accompany their financial statements which helped contextualise and explain the financial results by telling the reader what they achieved for the money they have spent.”

She has made a series of recommendations to continue improving public financial reporting, including the formation of an Audit and Risk Committee to cover the business of core government ministries, further improvements in governance and internal controls, and strengthening functional leadership to make for a stronger, more efficient and effective public sector.

While the government’s independent auditor remains upbeat about the improvements in reporting standards, the much improved reporting has also painted a clearer picture of the problems government faces in some public services, such as health provision, which appears underfunded, and the increasing subsidies going into Cayman Airways.

Five statutory authorities and government companies (SAGCs) reported a loss, including the Cayman Turtle Centre, the Health Services Authority, Cayman Airways, the port, the housing trust and the maritime authority. Meanwhile, the home affairs ministry, which was under the premier’s area of responsibility, overspent on its budget, as did judicial services.

In her executive summary Winspear said that several SAGCs are showing signs of being “under significant financial strain”, challenging their ability to meet their obligations. She said government will have to act to either change policies, restructure business models or give more financial support if these entities are to continue providing the required services.

Check back to CNS later for more from the auditor general’s report.

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Category: Government Finance, Government oversight, Politics

Comments (24)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Our DG is not responsible for CAL turtle farm etc. Maybe he should be. Thank you PPM for the public authorities bill.

  2. No state citizen says:

    “Meanwhile, the home affairs ministry, which was under the premier’s area of responsibility, overspent on its budget, as did judicial services”

    CNS: to be fair and objective, if you are going to throw in comments like the one above at least investigate to find out why and not make it appear like they just overspent wildly.

    If I am not mistaken, doesn’t immigration fall under the Home Affairs Ministry? Cuban refugees etc.

    All the legal aid cases would surely bankrupt Judicial.

  3. Anonymous says:

    What do you expect?? Cheeze
    With vanity projects such as the new South Sound Boardwalk costing over $9million for a half mile strip, while Needs Assessment clients have to wait for vital aid.
    It will wash away in the next storm, like the future of our people if this keeps up and if they keep silent in these matters.

    • Anonymous says:

      Drawing makes it look like New Jersey style wood beam construction which would degrade quickly and become dangerous. The CIG is like a bad idea factory. It should be smooth and fun concrete slab at half the cost, like at Ocean Blvd, Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale, or Venice Beach in Cali. We shouldn’t always be looking for expensive new ways to screw things up.

  4. Anonymous says:

    civil service…is a social welfare service for caymanians…who would not last 5 mins in the private sector.

    • No state citizen says:

      Your nasty and ignorant comment is such a disservice to a lot of hardworking civil servants, some who worked in the private sector and came back to the civil service, not because they couldn’t “survive” but considered it their civic duty.

      People like Gloria McField-Nixon and Franz Manderson, just to name two high ranking civil servants who have worked in the private sector and returned to the civil service.

      Stop painting the entire civil service with one broad brush.

      • Anonymous says:

        They only worked in the private sector to do their law articles or whatever the expression is then they returned to the civil service. They retained their civil service benefits while doing so, 10:36.

  5. Anonymous says:

    How can the Maritime Authority make a loss? Surely all they do is receive money for ship registrations, what outgoings do they have except salaries?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Just think ourselves lucky we are not in the third world!!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    He’s pointing out it would help if people paid their bills.

  8. Anonymous says:

    We already know that non-completed/abandoned infrastructure capex, blooming double-dipping payrolls, settlements, bad or ignored consultant advice, underfunded pensions and health liabilities are what we have to worry about..oh, and the airline and turtle meat farm. Just because these are not itemized and quantified precisely in the AG’s report, doesn’t make them go away, or prove they don’t exist.

  9. Tut alors!. says:

    You omit to mention that 6 government departments/agencies have yet to produce financials for the 2015/16 year and this includes some important ministries.This is not acceptable, but of course no heads will roll as always.

    • Anonymous says:

      I guess if you don’t submit financial statements you can’t get a adverse opinion on them
      Only in Cayman.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Ouch, people are we ready do the right thing as citizens.
    Let’s not turn and blame the government.
    We as a people have bills to pay i.e our school loans and hospital bill.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not blame the government for poor management? Mr. McLaughlin, who should I blame? They are the ones trying to run the country, and in my opinion they are not doing much for Caymanians…… except for themselves and maybe a few “good buddies”.

      • Anonymous says:

        The buck stops with one person. Time for accountability or blame or the responsibility is solely that of Franz Manderson the Deputy Governor, Head of the Civil Service and all of his Chief Officers who are his hand picked management team. They run the civil service.

        • Anonymous says:

          8:28. You are right. The deputy governor is responsible for this tremendous achievement. Accordingly to the AG before his appointment CIG financial statements were in shambles now the PAC is awarding CFO’s for achieving unqualified financial statements. Thank you DG.

          I am sick of these stupid post about the DG handpicking chief officers. That’s his job!! Who else is going to appoint them?
          I guess he didn’t appoint you.

          • Anonymous says:

            He does not handpick them. They apply for the post along with many others, are given written tests and interviewed then appointed by a panel, NOT by Manderson alone. “Many are called but few are chosen”. Stop the BS, folks.

      • Anonymous says:

        This is not the time for blame or finger pointing without understanding, no time ever is.

        The issue I read in this report between all the applauds for improved financial reporting is that our government is working with the financial deficit strain of entities.
        The entities are: HSA, Turtle Farm, Cayman Airway, Port and Housing Trust and Maritime Authority.

        If these government funded services are operating without making a profit, before calling out our government for the lack of profit we first need to acknowledge the importance of the service. It’s time to drop a few services but that’s another series.

        To do our part as a body of people we should think of and then address the need for the aforementioned entities and how they are treated financially by us, are bills paid on time are bills paid? Do we support or care about an entity.

        At this stage Cayman Airways, Turtle Farm and our Health care entities are not profitable. They are being subsidized in large amounts by our government causing the illusion that they are profitable.

        What we can do is be understanding and proactive in clearing the years of financial strains that have and is being caused by each of us.

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