Tue | Jan 15, 2019

Auditor General tells Bermuda gov't to fix arrears problem

Published:Thursday | December 27, 2018 | 9:50 AM
CMC photo.

HAMILTON, Bermuda, CMC — Auditor General Heather Thomas has told the Bermuda government to get its accounts in order after “significant arrears” were found in financial statements covering a seven-year period.

Thomas said 34 government organisations were at least one year behind with their financial statements at the end of the 2017 financial year.

“This is unacceptable, and, in my report, I urge the government to take all necessary steps to correct this situation,” she said, as her office published its scrutiny of government departments for the financial years from March 2011 to March 2017 — a time frame that spanned the One Bermuda Alliance government and almost two years of the previous Progressive Labour Party administration.

The national debt currently stands at US$2.4 billion. 

Thomas said a plan to cut debt and the deficit should become “the highest priority.”

She warned that the government was “making decisions without knowing the combined financial position of all the organisations that make up the government.

“It is not providing the House of Assembly or the public the analytical information that would help them understand the government’s financial statements and its financial condition.

“There are no effective long-term plans for reducing the annual and accumulated deficits or the associated debt, the unfunded liabilities of its major pension plans or the size of taxpayer indebtedness, all of which continue to grow unsustainably.”

Thomas said that each year of inaction worsened, adding “and the problems are serious.”

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