Sun | Dec 17, 2017

Auditor General raises questions about missed Gov't targets

Published:Wednesday | November 1, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Monroe Ellis

Failure on the part of the Government to provide an explanation as to why non-tax revenue missed the projected target has not escaped the attention of Auditor General Pamela Monroe Ellis, who examined the Interim Fiscal Policy Paper (FPP) that was tabled in Parliament on September 26.

In her report, which was tabled yesterday in Parliament, Monroe Ellis explained

that under the Financial Administration and Audit Act, she was required to confirm that the reasons given for deviations from projected targets are reasonable. However, she argues "I could not verify this for non-tax revenue, as no explanation was provided for the wide variation between the actual out-turn and the estimate in the February FPP."

The non-tax revenue was estimated to exceed budget for financial year 2016-2017 by 13.4 per cent, but the interim FPP reported actual non-tax revenue as being below budget by 7.2 per cent.

Another issue of concern to the auditor general was the interim FPP's report, which stated that the final wage settlement for public-sector workers could exceed the contingency provision in the budget.

"This is a risk to the expenditure budget and the overall fiscal programme, which requires the attainment of the legislated target of nine per cent of GDP (gross domestic product) by financial year 2018-2019," she said.

edmond.campbell@gleanerjm.com