CIG Responds to OAG Reports
The Cayman Islands Government welcomes the recommendations published by the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) in its two most recent reports: Improving Financial Accountability and Transparency: Budgeting (December 2020) and Financial Reporting of the Cayman Islands Government: General Report December 2019 (December 2020).
Government stands committed to working with the OAG on all matters, including improving its financial reporting, to promote accountability and transparency in its stewardship of public funds.
As the Auditor General notes in Financial Reporting of the Cayman Islands Government: General Report December 2019 (December 2020), the quality of financial reporting has improved significantly over recent years, culminating in all public bodies being issued with clean audit opinions so far (36 of the 41 completed audits, have all received “clean” opinions) for their 2019 submissions.
Additionally, the OAG states there has also been a marked increase in the number of entities preparing and tabling annual reports (as opposed to financial statements), which improves the standard of financial accountability and satisfies a key condition of the Public Management and Finance Law.
Government stands committed to continuing to make such improvements, including the recommendation to enhance the timely submission of these reports.
In Improving Financial Accountability and Transparency: Budgeting (December 2020), the OAG makes recommendations that are aimed at improving transparency and accountability and simplifying the budget-setting process.
Earlier this year, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development laid out in its Strategic Plan for 2021 to 2025 the aim of strengthening Government’s “managing for results environment and culture,” including modernising the budget system for future budgets. This demonstrates the Ministry’s commitment to tackle the further necessary modernisations outlined by the OAG and is already set out as specific actions in the Ministry’s Strategic Plan.
Specific plans include commencement of the Budget and Reporting Working Group in January 2021. This Working Group was initially established in early 2018 but placed on hold awaiting the completion of this report to allow for any recommendations to be incorporated.
Deputy Governor, Hon. Franz Manderson notes: “In Government, we take our responsibilities as custodians of the public purse very seriously; where we have been tasked with making improvements in recent years, we have strived to deliver those efficiently and strategically. I am pleased to see that the results of our efforts to improve our financial reporting have been recognized by the OAG.”
Mr. Manderson adds: “We note the recommendations by the OAG in these two new reports and pledge to continue to make improvements with regards to transparency and accountability in our use of public funds and, particularly, to make this information more accessible to the public while we continue to strive to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our overall processes.”