The Published Accounts of the Government of
The fact that we do not receive a gift of money from the British taxpayers does not mean that we should not be concerned about our national accounts. When your bank account is in the black, are you less careful about reconciling your bank statements than when they are overdrawn? No, you check them every month to make sure that no mistake has been made. It should be no different with our national accounts. Just as important as the national accounts is the report prepared each year by the Chief Auditor. He examines the government accounts and produces a report on them. He advises whether he has found any questionable activity in the accounts.
The Chief Auditor for Anguilla is Martin Daynes of the National Audit Office of the
A Chief Auditor typically produces four types of auditor’s report on the national accounts of a government. The four types may be summarised as follows:
Type 1. Where the audit has revealed nothing amiss, the Chief Auditor issues an unqualified audit opinion. This is sometimes referred to as an "audit certificate" or (especially by private sector audit firms) as an "audit report". The wording of such a report follows a standard format, as laid down in International Standards on Auditing. The audit report is appended to the accounts to which they relate.
Type 2. Where the audit has revealed an issue which merits the attention of the reader of the accounts, the Chief Auditor prepares a written report on the matter in addition to the standard (Type 1) audit report. Such reports can, for example, result from major errors or omissions being found in the evidence supporting the figures in the account. In such circumstances, the Chief Auditor’s audit opinion will almost certainly be qualified in one or more respects. This is called a Special Report. Whenever such a report is delivered, you would expect that the PAC would have a lot of questions for the different government departments.
Type 3. The Boards of many of
Type 4. The Financial Administration and Audit Act of 2003 permitted the Chief Auditor for the first time to undertake examinations of the economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which government uses resources. Such examinations are commonly called "Value for Money Audits". To date, the results of one such audit have been laid before the House of Assembly. The report was entitled "The Establishment and Operation of the Anguilla Health Authority". It covered how the Authority came to be set up, and the results achieved in its first two years (ie 2004 and 2005). It is in some ways a troubling report. It is deserving of more investigation and questioning. You should apply for a copy and read it for yourself. There were many questions that could have been asked in the PAC, and some person or persons brought to account.
I am told that the reports on the Government of Anguilla accounts up to the year 2005 should be available from the Ministry of Finance. I have applied. Someone is to let me know when the copies are ready for me, and what the cost is.