Provincial entities ‘evasive’

National, Normal

The National, Friday, June 3rd 2011

THE total number of provincial go­vernment business arms and their subsidiaries are increasingly difficult to trace, the auditor-general has reported.
This perennial issue, which had been reported about often before had tended to increase rather than decrease.
To September 2009, there were some 61 established business arms and direct or indirect investments identified but the auditor-general was certain there were many more.
The problem had again to do with inadequate information forthcoming from the provincial governments and repeated failure to maintain proper investment records and registers.
In many instances, financial statements and audit fees had remained outstanding for more than 10 years.
Financial statements for the East New Britain Corporation for the years 2003 to 2008 were still outstanding by September 2009.
Financial statements for the Pomio Development Corporation for 1998 to 2008 were still outstanding.
Western Highlands Development Corporation had not submitted fi­nancial statements for 1995 to 2008.
Also, outstanding for the same period are statements from the North Solomons Marine Corporation, North Solomons Plantation Development Corporation, Simbu Holdings and  Enga Engineering Ltd.
Statements for Morobe Food Processing and Morobe Food Corporation for the years 1999 to 2008 were still outstanding.
Other provincial government business arms were no better.
The situation with trust funds operated by provincial governments was no better.
Financial statements had not been prepared or had not been submitted for audit for the Western Highlands Sports Stadium Trust, the Enga Mi­neral Revenue Stabilisation Fund and the Gulf Investments Trust Funds.
These were directly contrary to the requirements of the Public Finances Management Act and relevant laws relating to the proper accounts keeping of public money.
Many of the entities had also not paid audit fees to the auditor-general which had to recover costs as the national government doid not provide for this.