In her latest report, she said “significant and substantial” action is required and should be treated as the Government’s “highest priority”.
She also said other “relevant reports”, including the results of the Spending and Government Efficiency (SAGE) Commission and the Commission of Inquiry, must be considered “carefully”.
To critics who may suggest she is overstepping her bounds by “entering the political arena”, she said: “This is not the case and is certainly not my intention.
“What I am pointing out is that, regardless of the party in power, action – significant and substantial – is required to improve the financial condition of the country.
“The specific plans, policies, goals, programmes and resource allocations are those for the Government of the day to decide and the Legislature and the public to debate.”
Once you crunch the numbers on the Financial Years ended March 31, 2010, 2011 and 2012, the bottom line is – Bermuda’s consolidated fund “continues to deteriorate”, she added.
For taxpayers it all sounds painfully familiar. And when it comes down to reducing Government spending, like her predecessors, Ms Thomas said the same thing – again.
She also expressed concern that “Government business is transacted through other public funds and Government-controlled organizations such as the Bermuda Housing Corporation and the Bermuda Land Development Company Limited”.
“Government’s financial statements do not currently consolidate the results of these organizations with the Consolidated Fund,” said Ms Thomas.
“Consolidating these funds and organizations with the Consolidated Fund would mean that each organization’s assets, liabilities and operating results would be incorporated into a set of summary financial statements that show the operating results and the financial position of the whole of Government.”
In other jurisdictions like Canada, she said: “Public Sector Accounting Board establishes standards of disclosure, which should be followed by Governments.
“Those standards have been accepted by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Bermuda (formerly the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bermuda) and are therefore generally accepted in Bermuda.”
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