Bermuda Auditor General Warns Of Future Challenges
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Bermuda’s Auditor General, Heather Jacobs Matthews, has released comments
following the qualified audit of the Bermuda government's 2008/09 consolidated fund
financial statements, comparing the results with previous years.
In her comments, Matthews warns of “significant financial
challenges going forward,” including “a weakening cash position
as evidenced by a substantial bank overdraft, expenditures significantly outstripping
revenues, increasing long-term debt and, by extension, a growing deficit and
Government expenditure has consistently outpaced revenues for the past five
years, fueling increased borrowings to carry out the government’s programmes.
To support the increasing debt, the Public Debt Legislated Limit was increased
from BMD375m (USD375m) in 2008, to BMD1bn in 2009.
The salient findings of the analysis of Bermuda's financial situation include:
- Net Debt, at the end of March 31, 2009, rose to BMD1.45bn, up BMD321.2m
from March 31, 2008, and an increase of BMD970m compared to fiscal 2003/04.
- At March 31, 2009, the Accumulated Deficit – the differencial between
the Consolidated Fund’s total liabilities and total assets – stood
at BMD719.9m, up BMD102.4m from March 31, 2008.
Subsequent to the year end the government has negotiated further borrowings of BMD160m
and BMD15m respectively. In addition, the government entered into a BMD200m
guarantee with the Bank of Butterfield. These subsequent events effectively
increased the Public Debt by BMD375m to in excess of BMD850m.