Council moves forward with Financial Sustainability Review

Published on 25 July 2022


Councillors have endorsed the process for the sustainability review of Council’s finances at the July meeting held yesterday afternoon in Jindabyne.

A comprehensive ‘scope of works’ that expands the focus of this investigation and assessment of Council’s financial position and performance, means this process will now cover the period from before the merger of the three Councils until the present.

This enhancement of the process from a simple audit to a more comprehensive review necessitated a change in terminology, to more accurately reflect the breadth and scale of the initiative being undertaken. A competitive tender process will follow in the coming weeks, with assessment against strict criteria to ensure this assessment is effective, honest, frank and transparent.

During the meeting, Council’s new Chief Financial Officer was asked to address community concerns around adjustments to the June 2022 monthly budget review statement.

CFO Tracy Sligar highlighted that the monthly statements tendered to Council at their request (instead of the legislatively required quarterly statements) are regularly subject to review and amendment. Income received by Council in July, but owing from June, has not been taken into account in this statement. Similarly, payments made by Council in July for invoices, services rendered or other expenses from June need to be reflected in the statement. Other end of year accounting adjustments will also need to be included.

Ms Sligar confirmed that the official end of financial year results were being compiled, but that as per standard accounting practice, it will be some months until they are finalised and released. Adjustments are quite usual and expected, for the same reasons listed above. The final financial position of Council for the financial year will be different to the figure appearing in the June monthly budget review statement.

At the request of a Councillor, Ms Sligar further clarified that any deficit ultimately reported reflects that Council’s income did not meet its operating expenses – with the balance coming from Council’s assets such as cash reserves and not replacing infrastructure. This is different to debt, which is an amount owed to an external party accruing interest.

Council’s official end of financial year results will be independently audited, as is standard practice in local government across NSW. Financial results for 21/22 year are expected to be available October 2022 following completion of the audit.

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