26 February 2016
The 2014-15 Annual Report, audit reports and audited financial statements for the Administration of Norfolk Island (ANI), the Norfolk Island Hospital Enterprise (NIHE) and the Norfolk Island Government Tourist Bureau (NIGTB) have been published today.
These provide a summary of each entity's operational and financial performance in 2014-15 and are key tools for demonstrating accountability to the Norfolk Island community regarding performance in delivering services and the expenditure of public monies.
In the period up to 18 June 2015, the operations of ANI and the Territory Authorities were controlled by the previous Norfolk Island Government. The absence of strategic and operational planning has resulted in a report which meets legislative requirements but does not effectively address performance in meeting the community's needs and expectations.
This will change from 2015-16. ANI has an operational plan for 2015-16 and will implement the New South Wales planning framework in 2016-17. These new planning processes include engagement with the community in relation to objectives and priorities and annual reporting of achievement against these. This will greatly enhance current levels transparency and accountability to the community.
Key 2014-15 outcomes were:
- continued provision of essential services;
- development of a waste management strategy which, if implemented, will address the existing backlog and future disposal of hazardous waste and recyclables;
- completion of a human resources skills audit as a first step in beginning the process of transitioning to a Regional Council in 2016-17;
- an increase in visitor arrivals across the year of 8 per cent; and
- introduction of new Public Service Act and Regulations and Community Title Act and consequential legislation.
Audit Reports and Audited Financial Statements
The audit reports, provided by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO), highlight the entities as not being "going concerns" as they will not exist in their current form beyond 30 June 2016. The audit reports do however acknowledge the statements as having been appropriately prepared and fairly presented.
With the exception of NIHE, the final results for each entity have not changed materially from what was reported in the "2014-15 Final Budget Outcome Report" released on 29 October 2015. The final valuation report necessitated a reduction in the carrying value of NIHE's land and buildings to $1.83 million (2013-14: $3.03 million). This in turn increased NIHE's 2014-15 final operating loss to $0.83 million.
ANAO also reports on the adequacy of each entity's financial controls. Key ANAO findings included:
- weaknesses in ANI's cash management controls, which resulted in accounting errors;
- ANI and NIHE do not have asset management plans which address current risks and future priorities and costs;
- governance weaknesses regarding ANI and NIHE's corporate planning, risk management and internal audit processes; and
- ANI's financial and management reporting processes require further improvement. In particular, there needs to be monthly monitoring of financial performance.
Addressing these findings is a focus for management in 2015-16 and the Audit Committee is playing an active role in monitoring progress.
Please click on www.norfolkisland.gov.nf/reports/Financial%20Statements/ to access the audit reports and financial statements.
The Annual Report can be found at www.norfolkisland.gov.nf/reports/Annual%20Reports/
The Hon Gary Hardgrave