(Press Release) The Report of the Auditor General on the Audit of the Public Accounts of Montserrat 2020-2021 was presented to the Legislative Assembly on 26 July, 2022.
The Auditor General has the responsibility of auditing the Public Accounts of Montserrat and of all public offices and public bodies established by an Act of Parliament and to provide a report on her findings to the Legislative Assembly as per Section 103 of the Montserrat Constitution order and Section 42(1) of the Public Finance (Management and Accountability) Act 2008.
Conclusions from the Audit of the 2020-21 Public Accounts
The Government of Montserrat was issued with a qualified opinion on the 2020-2021 Public Accounts of Montserrat by the Office of the Auditor General. This audit opinion was given as the Acting Auditor General, Ms Marsha Meade determined that 2 major financial statements had material misstatements.
The material misstatements were the:
a) The Fixed Asset Statement presented is materially misstated as not all transactions and assets were included, some items no longer existed at the end of the reporting period, and some were not stated at their correct economic values. In addition, the depreciation policy was not consistently applied as the rates for classes of assets were not applied in all instances.
b) The arrears listing contains significant amounts that are deemed uncollectible for various reasons including that some of the entities are no longer in existence or some individuals are no longer alive. The figures presented in the statement provide an inaccurate picture of how much money can be collected.
Additionally, without modifying the opinion, the Acting Auditor General drew attention to the fact that a significant principle of government accounting is that a government should implement a balanced budget.
For the 2020-21 fiscal year, recurrent expenditure exceeded recurrent revenue by $2.90M.
The full audit report highlights several other findings and recommendations and can be found at the Montserrat Public Library or by visiting the Office of the Auditor General Online Publications at http://audit.gov.ms or on their Facebook page.