March 24, 2008

Minister Responds to Auditor General Report On Province�s Financial Statements

The Honourable Tom Marshall, Minister of Finance and President of Treasury Board, responded today on the release of the Auditor General�s report on the audit of the province�s financial statements for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2007.

Minister Marshall noted the report provides the Provincial Government with detailed commentary on the financial condition of the province from an independent point of view. "The comments made by the Auditor General in relation to prudent fiscal management are in many ways consistent with the views of our government," said Minister Marshall. "It has been and will continue to be a part of our mandate to manage and build a solid financial position to achieve a self-reliant Newfoundland and Labrador."

The minister acknowledged the Auditor General�s suggestion that the province�s financial situation is becoming more influenced by a strong non-renewable resource sector. "The volatility experienced in the non-renewable resource sector has provided significant revenues for the province," said Minister Marshall. "However, with this volatility comes vulnerability and the responsibility to manage these resources to maximize long-term benefits for all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians."

Minister Marshall said the Williams Government continues to make it a priority to reduce the province�s debt burden. "Such efforts are evident from the significant contributions this government has made in recent years to reduce the unfunded pension liability. As the province progressively moves forward, and our government will continue to develop and implement strategies to reduce the province�s significant debt," said Minister Marshall.

"With the enactment of the Transparency and Accountability Act our government is committed to solidifying the province�s fiscal integrity," said Minister Marshall. "We will continue to enforce the principles of this key piece of legislation to ensure departments and Crown agencies are held accountable for the management of the public funds entrusted."

The Auditor General�s report is in relation to the province�s financial statements (Public Accounts) for the fiscal year ended 31 March 2007 which were previously tabled by the Minister of Finance in January 2008. The Public Accounts reported a surplus of $154.1 million for the 2006-07 fiscal year and net debt of $11.6 billion as at 31 March 2007. The Public Accounts for 2006-07 are available at //


Media contact:

Bill Hickey
Director of Communications
Department of Finance
709-729-6830, 691-6390 

2008 03 24                                                     1:15 p.m.

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