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House: fund given unqualified audit opinion

Financial statement: Bob Richards, the Minister of Finance (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

The annual accounts of the Bermuda Government’s consolidated fund have been given an unqualified audit opinion for the third successive year.

The announcement was made yesterday by Bob Richards, the Minister of Finance, as he formally put the financial statements before the House of Assembly.

Mr Richards told MPs that the three most recent unqualified audit opinions followed six years of qualified opinions.

“Despite the clean audit opinion, the Auditor-General has, for the fifth consecutive year, included explanatory paragraphs as ‘other matter’ which she deems appropriate,” Mr Richards said. “These other matters relate to the increased level of the net debt and the need for Government to take concerted action to address it, ongoing incidents of noncompliance with the Government’s financial instructions and the preparation of summary financial statements for the Government.”

Mr Richards gave a detailed breakdown of the consolidated fund’s financial statements.

He concluded saying: “The level of debt mentioned above is not only unsustainable but economically and fiscally imprudent and the Government has already committed to redouble our efforts and determination to eliminate government deficit in three years, and eventually pay down on our debt.”

To see Mr Richards’s statement in full, click on the PDF link under “Related Media”