Government audits spanning at least two years are still outstanding and Minister for Health and Social Development Hon. Carvin Malone announced that steps need to be taken to have the reports laid before the House of Assembly as soon as possible.
The Minister explained that these outstanding documents affects the Territory’s adherence to agreements such as the Protocol for Effective Financial Management and the High Level Framework.
While disclosing that the audits were still outstanding during the November 14 sitting of the House of Assembly Hon. Malone alluded to the fact that the Government is negotiating with the United Kingdom Government for the loan guarantee.
He further mentioned that there are conditions that have to be met such as audited financial reports.
The Minister for Health said, “We are fighting a battle to get the over £300M of recovery funds to which have about 30 conditions …The high level framework of those 30 conditions, some of it are of our own making because we had ten years accounts not audited in direct violation of the Constitution.”
“The last one we received here was 2016. 2017 is out, 2018 is out; and come June of 2020 -- 2019 would be out. So, whatever is required for us to bring our financial house in order will be necessary because you cannot get the kind of loans, at the kind of interest rates …until you get those documents in line. You will be looking at a risk factor that should not exist in terms of higher level than it actually should be,” the Minister stated.
Hon. Malone alluded that his administration met the situation of the outstanding audits, but he said that he understands that the burden of rectifying the matter rests on the current government’s shoulders. The Health Minister indirectly referenced a comment that was made by Opposition Member Hon. Julian Fraser who stated that this government has to take responsibility for all the issues it met.
In noting this comment Hon. Malone said, “Members spoke openly that the problem is yours, the holiday is over, the honeymoon is done. We went on the stage and spoke and said don’t forget about me we can do the job so we will do the job, but at the end of the day there are a lot of housekeeping to be done in order for the job to start in earnest.”
During his years in the Opposition, current Premier Hon. Andrew Fahie spoke ad nauseam about the outstanding financial audits. At that time Hon. Fahie suggested that these reports would have an effect on the Territory’s overall financial management.