Saskatchewan's Auditor General BLASTS Brad Wall For Government Financial Records That Are 'Wrong"
REGINA — The provincial auditor is waving a red flag over the government’s main operating account, saying that the general revenue fund (GRF) financial statements are “full of errors” and masking a massive deficit of nearly $600 million, rather than a surplus of about $60 million as reported at the end of the 2012-13 fiscal year.
In fact, the auditor’s office has gone so far as to issue an “adverse’’ opinion of the GRF, the first time in the province’s history that the provincial auditor has refused to endorse the GRF financial statements. “Adverse audit opinions are very rare, in both the public and private sector,’’ acting provincial auditor Judy Ferguson told reporters Wednesday.
“Through our audit report on the GRF, we warned the legislators and the public that much of the information included in the GRF 2013 financial statements is wrong and that they must not use those financial statements to evaluate the performance of the government.’’
While Ferguson presented the report, former provincial auditor Bonnie Lysyk, who left Saskatchewan to become Ontario’s provincial auditor in August, signed the “adverse’’ opinion that the GRF financial statements “do not present fairly the financial position of the GRF as at March 31, 2013.”
Ferguson added that under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), the province would have posted a deficit of $590 million for the 2012-13 fiscal year, rather than the $58-million surplus reported in the GRF financial statements. “We’re also disappointed that the government continues to regard these inaccurate statements as one of its main financial statements.”