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Auditor General finds inconsistencies in Fiscal Policy Paper, Ministry corrects them

Published:Wednesday | May 4, 2016 | 5:05 AMEdmond Campbell

Auditor General Pamela Monroe Ellis has pointed to what she described as "material inconsistencies" in the Fiscal Policy Paper (FPP) crafted by the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service as part of the new fiscal rules under the Financial Administration and Audit (FAA) Act.

"It is the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service to ensure that all information contained in the Fiscal Policy Paper is reliable," stated Monroe Ellis in her report to Parliament.

Finance and the Public Service Minister Audley Shaw told the Standing Finance Committee of Parliament yesterday that the inconsistencies highlighted by the Auditor General relate mainly to a few instances in which the narrative in the FPP did not strictly match the figures in the tables and other minor differences in the figures presented in some of the tables.

"These minor differences however do not affect the integrity of the information neither do they compromise the quality of fiscal operations nor the decision-making of the Parliament stakeholders and members of the public," Shaw outlined.

The Auditor General's report on the FPP should have been tabled in Parliament last week, however the House of Representatives did not have a sitting.

The document was not available for perusal yesterday despite Shaw's appeal for the Auditor General's report to be tabled in Parliament.

Shaw made it clear that the Auditor General stated in her report that the inconsistencies did not impact the opinions formed in her review of the FPP.

He said the Ministry of Finance has since amended the FPP to remove the inconsistencies highlighted by the Auditor General.

The Auditor General also declared that the Government of Jamaica remains in breach of the legislated nine per cent wage to GDP target.