Audit finds water boards struggle with finances

THE entities controlling Queensland assets worth more than $500 million are reportedly struggling to write quality or timely financial reports.

The Queensland Audit Office's report into public sector entities also found Queensland water authorities did not have the personnel to write adequate financial reports.

"Water boards continue to struggle with the quality and timeliness of their financial statement preparation," the report said.

"We attribute these poor results to a lack of requisite skills by the many water board staff to perform the task.

"This is of particular concern; collectively, these entities have stewardship of more than $574 million of state assets."

The audit found some boards had only prepared financial statements for the first time in the 2012-13 year.

The Palmgrove water board in the Central Highlands still had not provided financial statements for 2011-12 or 2012-13.

The audit found most public sector entities were "timely, of good quality and reliable", although the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and Public Safety Business Agency did not meet the given deadline following government changes which caused delays.

The report was commissioned to ensure the government entities were accountable in spending public money.

While the audit praised the financial statements, it said most departments were yet to implement recommended changes to prepare reports earlier.

- APN NEWSDESK



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