Four gov’t entities miss audit deadline

| 17/02/2020 | 24 Comments

(CNS): Auditor General Sue Winspear said she was “delighted” with this year’s financial reporting by most government entities after giving 36 out of 40 audits for the 2018 fiscal year a clean bill of health. But she has also noted continued failings in her latest report, released Monday. Despite the improvement on the chaos surrounding public finance accountability over the last 15 years, four key agencies still missed the audit deadline.

The Ministry of Health and the Cayman Islands Airports Authority have failed to complete their accounts not just for 2018 but for 2016/17 as well, the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) said. The Cayman Turtle Centre and Cayman Airways Limited are also on the late list for this year. All three public authorities and the ministry have been in the public eye regarding the mismanagement of public cash or other problems, and the failure by the airport and the health ministry in particular will cause further concern over the lack of transparency.

In this latest report about public financial accountability, the auditor general appeared keen to give kudos to government for getting the bulk of its books right. However, she nevertheless raised issues about numerous ongoing problems.

“The 2018 audit of the consolidated Entire Public Sector account which includes all 40 entities and the ‘executive’ expenditure and coercive revenues of Government remains outstanding and this audit received an adverse audit opinion in 2016-17,” she reminded the public.

Winspear said government accounts still present a mixed picture of issues, especially results coming from the statutory authorities and government companies (SAGCs). While the Port Authority of the Cayman Islands and Water Authority – Cayman returned to profit for the first time since 2014, another 13 SAGCs recorded a deficit in 2018, which has been an ongoing situation for several of them.

As a result she has made a series of recommendations to continue improving financial reporting in government, including the need for annual reports to be laid in the Legislative Assembly in a timely way to ensure accountability and compliance with the law, but most importantly to help inform the public of the work being done by public sector while the reports are still relevant.

The OAG raised concerns about the continued failure of ministers to take the reports they are responsible for to the Legislative Assembly in a reasonable time, “the pivotal step that completes the accountability chain,” the report stated.

There are still 49 reports from past years that have not been tabled more than six months after they were completed. Winspear said such delays reduce the relevance of these important reports in decision making and undermine government’s accountability to the people who supply the bulk of the cash in duties and fees.

Winspear also pointed to the unresolved problems relating to several SAGCs that she believed were not viable without significant cash injections from the public purse, and government’s continued failure to properly report changes to the budget through supplementary appropriations.

Another significant issue that Winspear raises in the report is that there is still “no robust assessment of service performance” by government entities because measuring output performance is still suspended as part of the help given the public sector bean-counters to get the books up to date.

This means that there is still no way for government or the public to assess whether or not public money and resources have been used “in the most effective and efficient way or if expected outcomes have been achieved”, Winspear documented in her report.

In her conclusion, while she lauded the progress, she warned that there were still problems. From continued risks of mismanagement and abuse to non-compliance with laws, a decade and a half after the introduction of the Public Management and Finance Law, the best government can claim appears to be that it is ‘nearly’ there.

See the full report in the CNS Library


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Category: Government Finance, Government oversight, Politics

Comments (24)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Normal and pathetic. Just what is expected of a corrupt third world government. Why would they ever change?

  2. Anonymous says:

    “ Winspear said such delays reduce the relevance of these important reports in decision making and undermine government’s accountability to the people who supply the bulk of the cash in duties and fees”

    That is exactly what they are trying to achieve.

    There are some people who believe that as recently as 10 years ago people connected with the CIG used all kinds of thinly veiled schemes to take most of our money for themselves and to make big deposits in the favour bank with well placed supporters.

    It was nothing to see junior civil servants fuelling their new F450 and the new JetSki it was towing at lunchtime on a Tuesday and paying with their government gasboy card. The MLAs looked the other way because they knew they could count on that vote. I could list dozens of similar rorts.

    It’s harder now (thankfully) but apparently there are still a few carefully maintained financial black holes where the more blatant scams can be hidden. The Turtle Farm being the obvious one (just google the Joey Ebanks saga) and I’ve heard there are rampant conflicts of interest on the Airport board.

    The sooner we stamp this nonsense out the better for the whole country.

    • Anonymous says:

      The scale is such that some felt comfortable burning $250k a month at Seminole Hard Rock.

    • Anonymous says:

      These thefts are from money we don’t have. Were it not for these, there wouldn’t be >$500mln in acknowledged debt, the pensions and healthcare liabilities would be fully funded, and we’d have maintained roads and public parklands with a growing reserve account. Dart would no longer have leverage in their role as scheming loan shark of first refusal.

  3. Anonymous says:

    36 out of 40 is a great result. CNS i am not sure what deadline you are referring to as all Financial Statements were submitted to the AG on time. What the AG is saying is that her office has not completed the audit of these 4 entities as yet.

    The public can now have confidence in how their money is spent. I commend the Government for this achievement.

    Cayman is again leading the way.

    • Anonymous says:

      Really?
      * the auditor general appeared keen to give kudos to government for getting the bulk of its books right. HOWEVER, she nevertheless raised issues about numerous ONGOING problems.
      * The 2018 audit of the CONSOLIDATED Entire Public Sector account which includes all 40 entities and the ‘executive’ expenditure and coercive revenues of Government REMAINS OUTSTANDING and this audit received an ADVERSE audit opinion in 2016-17
      * CONTINUED FAILURE of ministers to take the reports they are responsible for to the Legislative Assembly in a reasonable time
      * the unresolved problems relating to several SAGCs
      *still “no robust assessment of service performance”

      etc.etc…

      So commending CIG is like saying to a toddler- good job baby, you almost managed to pee in your potty, never-mind few wet spots on your panties.

    • Anonymous says:

      Too funny!

    • Anonymous says:

      That is not what the auditor is saying at all.

  4. Anon says:

    It’s no coincidence all these entities are costing the public a fortune, except the airport authority which earns a fortune, spends it all, but will not reveal where all the money goes – we are still waiting to hear the amount of the overrun on the terminal renovation project.

    • Anonymous says:

      7.18pm The extra monies were for additional works, not cost overruns.

      • Anonymous says:

        11:34, How do you know? There has been ZERO / ZERO accounting for the money. It could have been spent many different ways. What is going on?

    • Anonymous says:

      The greatest financial mystery in the Cayman Islands, Where does all that Cayman Islands Airport Authority money go? No wonder they wanted to keep the Canadians out of the new airport build.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The acting CO for Ministry of Health is the CFO! Doesn’t say much for her or the decision to place her there ….

  6. Anonymous says:

    Who manager of the airport? Enough said. Turtle Farm………

  7. Anonymous says:

    The entities most frequently caught up in financial scandals and sub-par performance fail to submit adequate stuff for audit. Shocking! 🙄

    • Anonymous says:

      True…we saw the same with OneTradeX…couldn’t report failure so made government take over operations..

      • Anonymous says:

        There was no failure CIMA allowed XXXX

        CNS: I would really like to post this but I need some assurance that it’s accurate. Can you provide that? info@caymannewsservice.com

        Interestingly CIMA’s Head of Securities Supervision, Gerry Halischuk “retired” and left the Island in October after only 7 months in the job. No comment or announcement of this by CIMA.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Should anyone be surprised?

    The Airport Authourity needs a major wash out it’s not even funny excessive spending, change order etc. this issues have been well documented and covered by the media.

    HSA too is in door need of a clean out, management is inept and possible endangering the lives of patients.

    And then we come to that economic disaster know as Cayman Airways Limited spending nearly $40 million per year in subsidy out of the people’s pockets surely that money could be put to better use than providing CAL employees and other cronies with free air fare.

    The turtle farm what can I say that’s been a disaster financially since Mac decided to build them a new facility that would be some sort of theme/water park.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Will anyone be held accountable? No!

    • Anonymous says:

      Of course, that refrain will only be true until it’s not anymore. Voters need to ask for this kind of accountability or it will never begin.

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