State accounts closed

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GOVERNMENT accounts for 2017 closed at midnight last night and will re-open on Jan 16, according to Finance Secretary Dr Ken Ngangan.
He warned people who have government cheques to cash them or have them deposited into their bank accounts before Dec 31. Failure to do that will mean returning the cheques to the issuing agencies next year to have them cleared.
Ngangan said the department was going to be very strict with government accounts this year.
However, he told The National yesterday that extensions could be given to departments such as Health and Lands who were still locked out of their offices for non-payment of rent, to fix their books.
Ngangan said he would look into them on a case by case basis.
“Otherwise all accounts are closed. The close of accounts happens tonight (last night) and opens for business on Jan 16, 2018,” he said.
“I encourage all service providers with government cheques written in 2017 to present at their banks by Dec 31, 2017.
“Any 2017 cheques presented in 2018 will be referred back to the issuing agencies for clearances in 2018 by commercial banks.”
The government accounts last year closed on Dec 12 and were re-opened on Jan 9.
Ngangan warned public servants that anyone abusing the system would be dealt with accordingly.
He said no new warrants should be issued until the accounts reopened next month.
Meanwhile, the Finance Department has achieved an unprecedented financial reporting milestone when public accounts for five years were approved by Parliament last Tuesday.
Public accounts are detailed records of receipts, expenditures and debts of public bodies, statutory authorities, and State agencies as well as provincial and local level governments.