Volume Three 2010 focus on Total State Sector

The Auditor-General, Mr Peter Achterstraat, today released his Report to Parliament on the 2009-10 NSW Total State Sector Accounts.

The final Budget result for 2009-10 was a surplus of $994 million, originally budgeted to be a $990 million deficit. If the Commonwealth Government’s capital stimulus funding had been excluded, the result would have been a deficit of $861 million. Employee costs (excluding superannuation costs) increased by approximately 3.5 per cent compared to 7.5 per cent in the prior year.

“I have issued a qualified Independent Auditor’s Report as the State has not recognised the value of Crown Reserves and the infrastructure on those reserves that should be recorded as an asset,” Mr Achterstraat said. 

The quality and timeliness of financial reporting in the NSW Public Sector needs to improve. “I am again calling on the Government to implement recommendations my Office has been making for a number of years and recently supported by a Public Accounts Committee inquiry into the State’s financial reporting,” Mr Achterstraat said.

“NSW Government agencies should prepare a full set of accounts at 31 March each year so they can resolve any issues well before the end of the year. Minimum qualifications for chief financial officers need to be set and chief executive officers must be held accountable for accurate and timely financial reporting,” Mr Achterstraat said.

“Seven of the 24 largest agencies’ financial statements submitted for audit contained 24 errors, each exceeding $20.0 million,” Mr Achterstraat said. “This delayed and increased the costs of preparing and auditing these financial reports,” he added.
Only limited progress has been made on implementing common financial reporting systems in some of the super departments. Adding to this is the absence of systems to capture and report on any savings for these amalgamations—one of the Government’s reasons for the amalgamations.

“On a pleasing note agencies have implemented the majority of the 157 recommendations I made in 2009,” Mr Achterstraat said.
“The State of New South Wales maintained its credit ratings of AAA from Standard & Poor’s and Aaa/Stable from Moody's Investors Service,” he added.

Further information

Barry Underwood Executive Officer on 9275 7220 or 0403 073 664