26 September 2023

Auditor positive about PS finance reports

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The financial performance of Queensland’s public Agencies, Departments and other entities in the year to June last year was better than expected according to the State’s Auditor-General, Brendan Worrall.

Delivering the Auditor-General’s annual report State Finances 2021, Mr Worrall said the Government’s financial statements for its consolidated fund, Ministerial expenses and office expenses of the Leader of the Opposition were all reliable and complied with legislative requirements.

“The State’s financial performance was better than forecast in the Budget,” Mr Worrall said.

“Improved economic conditions resulted in Queensland receiving an additional $2.7 billion in GST funding from the Australian Government this year,” he said.

“This reversed the trend of the three previous financial years.”

He said that in 2020-21 total expenses remained “relatively stable” with the Budget identifying savings of $750 million under its Savings and Debt Plan.

Mr Worrall said the savings were achieved by reducing Departmental appropriations, with Departments required to implement measures to achieve savings in the 2020–21 financial year.

“The 2022 Budget forecasts revenue will increase at a greater rate than expenses over the next four years,” the Auditor-General said.

“This should see the Queensland general Government sector (Government Departments and other Government entities such as hospital and health services) return to a net operating surplus.”

Mr Worrall said that while borrowings have been required this year to fund the Government’s response to COVID-19 and the infrastructure program, they were not as significant as was forecast in the 2021 budget.

“The 2022 budget identifies that borrowings will continue increasing over the next four years,” he said.

“In response to the increased debt, the Government established the Queensland Future Fund – Debt Retirement Fund in 2020–21.”

“As at 30 June 2021 the fund held $7.7 billion in State investments that can only be used to reduce State debt,” he said.

The Auditor-General’s 27-page report can be accessed at this PS News link.

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