Letter to the Editor of The Guardian
from Mr Dilip Dayaram Tirathdas, Accountant General, Gibraltar
There have recently been suggestions in the
United Kingdom purporting the non-transparency and non-availability
of the public accounts of Gibraltar.
Under the Laws of Gibraltar, the Accountant
General has statutory responsibility to prepare accounts showing
fully the financial position of the Government of Gibraltar at
the end of each financial year.
I have been the Accountant General for over
six years and I can confirm that the annual accounts have always
been prepared and submitted for audit within the statutory deadline
of nine months from the end of each financial year.
These annual accounts include detailed statements,
summaries and notes, which are subject to audit by the Principal
Auditor. On completion of this independent external audit, the
accounts and the Principal Auditor's Report thereon are laid in
the House of Assembly and made available to the public.
As part of the Government's policy to improve
transparency and accountability in the public finances, the accounts
of the Government of Gibraltar were subjected to a restructure
with effect from 1 April 1997. The main changes were aimed at
ensuring that all the revenue and expenditure of the Government
is fully and clearly reflected in the public accounts.
With effect from the following year, an additional
statement was included as part of the public accounts with the
heading "Financial Position of the Government of Gibraltar".
The object of this statement is to summarise the sources of all
public sector finances and the employment of such finances by
the Government. This statement is supported by a number of explanatory
notes in order to clarify further the financial transactions of
the Government during any year.
Over and above the information contained in
the public accounts, further accounts are prepared in respect
of a number of Government-owned trading and property companies
incorporated under the Companies Ordinance. Following on from
the Government's policy on transparency and accountability, all
transactions by these companies are closely monitored by the Treasury
Department. The accounts of these companies are audited by fully
qualified registered and independent auditors, as required by
the Companies Ordinance. The audited accounts of the companies
are then also laid in the House of Assembly and made available
to the public. The Treasury Department is actually tasked with
ensuring that the company accounts are prepared, audited and laid
in the House of Assembly at the earliest opportunity.
As Accountant General, I can confirm that full
information of the public finances of Gibraltar is made available
to the public and any suggestion that this is not the case is
just not true.
Dilip Dayaram Tirathdas,
BSc (Hons), FCIB