• The following statement was released by the Minister of Finance, Curtis Dickinson, regarding the Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB)…

The Government of Bermuda understands the importance of timely financial information. The Minister of Finance considers it essential that all Government entities prepare annual financial statements on a timely basis.

There can be various reasons for delays in producing financial statements, which could include, amongst other things, limited resources within the Office of the Auditor General, Government or relevant Public Authority.   Specific measures to address some of these impediments will be announced in Friday’s Budget Statement.

The BHB is working with the Auditor General’s Office on completing the audits for 2015 to 2019, and will soon be up to date. As well, the Minister of Health has regular meetings with the Chair and CEO of the BHB and is kept appraised of progress towards completion of the outstanding audits.

The Ministry of Health can confirm that the 2014/15 draft annual report for the BHB was received on Monday, February 3 and is in the final stages of completion for tabling in Parliament at the earliest opportunity.

Per the Ministerial Statement of May 10, 2019, the tabling of the 2014 Annual Report marked a key step in “publishing the next five outstanding Annual Reports to bring BHB in line with its legislated requirements over the course of the coming fiscal year.”

The BHB is making good progress in bringing their accounts up to date. I expect that other relevant government entities will play their part to rectify this problem by bringing all outstanding accounts up to date and delivering them in an auditable state to the Office of the Auditor General. Additionally, in many cases, management accounts have already been prepared.

This is an ongoing and long-standing matter which has plagued successive governments, and it will take time to resolve. However, the Government commits to taking the necessary steps to remedy this situation.