Territory Stories

Annual Report 1988-1989 Office of the Auditor General



Annual Report 1988-1989 Office of the Auditor General

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Tabled Paper 1044


Tabled Papers for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT




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Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.




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The Northern Territory Government employs 28 percent of all wage and salary earners (compared to an average of around 20 percent in the States). NORTHERN TERRITORY CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES Local Government Territory Government Commonwealth Government (Source: Budget Paper No.6 1989-90) FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY Introduction Financial reports can be of various types. In the public sector context apart from the need to meet specific legislative requirements, a government needs to address a broad based audience of potential users such as: the legislative users (individual members of the Legislative Assembly, their staff and advisors); government planners and managers (government Ministers and senior managers of departments and statutory corporations); the corporate sector (including major industries and small businesses and their associations); lenders and potential investors; special interest groups (such as those representing consumers, employees, or other special groups); the media, economists and policy analysts; and the general public. All of the above have some interest in government financial affairs and many need information in order to properly perform their own work. Financial reports are also central to the accountability processes by which government accounts for its use of public funds. Current Status in the Northern Territory Whilst on a number of occasions in recent years I have expressed the opinion that the broader audience is not well served by the annual financial reports prepared by government in their present form, it must be said that this situation is by no means unique to the Northern Territory. The same can be said of most governments financial reporting standards. At present there is no legislated financial reporting methodology which gives a consolidated picture of government finances. Information comes from at least three separate sources, these being: (a) the Treasurer's Annual Financial Statements, (b) the budget papers, and (c) reports from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Whilst all of the detailed information in its various forms is welcomed, my experience tells me that many people would also like a simple summary, so that they can have an overview of key financial information before proceeding to the details. 19

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