ACT government borrowing more than doubled from $ 3.4 billion in 2018 to $ 8.3 billion in 2021, according to an ACT Audit Office report.
ACT Auditor General Michael Harris presented the President with a report on the financial results and conclusions of the 2020-2021 financial audits for tabling in the ACT Legislative Assembly this week.
The report found that the significant increase in borrowing was mainly due to funding capital spending and helping the ACT government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The territory’s total borrowing is expected to increase further, from $ 8.3 billion in 2021 to $ 13.8 billion in 2025, the report said.
Mr Harris said the report provides the community with information on the territory’s financial situation.
“The financial results of the ACT government and agencies provide useful information to the community on the state of the territory’s finances and the financial impact of government decisions over time,” said Mr. Harris.
The report also found that the territory’s net operating balance deficit of $ 658 million in 2020-21 was lower than the budgeted deficit of $ 879 million, mainly due to higher-than-expected Commonwealth grants from the GST. .
The territory achieved an operating surplus of $ 123 million, compared to a forecast deficit of $ 409 million, largely due to higher than expected gains on investment and income from residential land sales, says The report.
It also revealed that 48 audit findings were reported to agencies in 2020-2021, half of which related to internal control deficiencies posing a risk of error or fraud.
The audit report suggests that agencies should focus on addressing previously reported audit findings in a ‘timely fashion’, with 40% of previously reported audit findings unresolved or partially resolved in 2020-2021.
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Ian Meikle, editor