The Auditor General Confirms the Government's Financial Statements Are Balanced



    QUEBEC, June 13 /CNW Telbec/ - "The special report of the Auditor General
of Québec confirms that the government's financial statements are balanced and
that they are based on generally recognized accounting principles (GAAP)," the
Minister of Finance, Minister for Government Services, Minister responsible
for Government Administration and Chair of the Conseil du trésor, Monique
Jérôme-Forget, said after reviewing the special report of the Auditor General
determining the aggregate budgetary balance since the Balanced Budget Act came
into force in 1996.
    "However, this report shows that Bill 85, Act to amend the Balanced
Budget Act and other legislative provisions, needs to be passed so that the
recommendations made by the Task Force on Government Accounting can be
implemented," the Minister indicated.
    She pointed out that the difference noted by the Auditor General in his
report represents the deficits he has estimated since 1996. These deficits
represent amounts of $2.6 billion for the period from 1996-1997 to 2002-2003
and $3.2 billion for the period from 2003-2004 to 2006-2007. In fact, these
amounts were charged to the debt without being entered in the annual results,
in accordance with the accounting policies in effect prior to the reform of
government accounting.
    The Minister noted that, in order to respond to the criticisms formulated
by the Auditor General, she indicated, in her first budget, that the
government would adopt generally accepted accounting principles. This reform,
carried out jointly by the Auditor General and the ministère des Finances and
implemented in December 2007, made it possible to present the 2006-2007
financial statements on the basis of current GAAP, allowing the Auditor
General to state in his special report that "the annual budgetary balance of
$109 million shown by the government in its analysis of the financial
statements for 2006-2007 provides a fair picture of the achievement of a
balanced budget estimated for the purposes of the Act." (TRANSLATION)
    The Minister of Finance concluded by inviting the opposition parties to
work with the government to pass Bill 85 as quickly as possible. The bill
arises from a recommendation by the Auditor General and seeks to complete the
reform of government accounting. "I am astonished by the second opposition
party's stubborn questioning of a recommendation made by the Auditor General.
This recommendation was unanimously endorsed by the three parliamentary groups
represented on the Commission de l'administration publique on December 19,
2007," Minister Jérôme-Forget stated.
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For further information:

For further information: Catherine Poulin, Press Relations Officer,
Office of the Minister of Finance, Minister for Government Services, Minister
responsible for Government Administration and Chair of the Conseil du trésor,
(418) 643-5270, (514) 873-5363

Organization Profile

CABINET DE LA MINISTRE DES FINANCES, MINISTRE DES SERVICES GOUVERNEMENTAUX, MINISTRE RESPONSABLE DE L'ADMINISTRATION GOUVERNEMENTALE, PRESIDENTE DU CONSEIL DU TRESOR

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