Queensland state government: 2015–16 results of financial audits (Report 8: 2016–17)
Most public sector entities, including departments, statutory bodies, and government owned corporations and the entities they control, prepare annual financial statements and table these in parliament. Each year the Treasurer also prepares consolidated state government financial statements. The consolidated state government financial statements separately disclose transactions and balances for the general government sector and the total state sector.
The general government sector includes the entities funded by the government for the delivery of services, including all government departments. These entitites deliver key government services in the areas of health, education, law and order, transport, communications, public housing, and other community services. The general government sector is part of the total state sector, which also includes public financial corporations and public non-financial corporations. Public financial corporations are government-controlled entities, which borrow and invest on behalf of the state government and public sector entities. Public non-financial corporations are government-controlled entities engaged in producing market goods and providing non-financial servcies including energy generation and distribution, water distribution, and rail and port services.
A broad range of parties, including parliamentarians, taxpayers, employees, and users of government services, use public sector financial statements. For these financial statements to be useful, the information reported must be relevant and accurate. Each year the Queensland Auditor-General audits these financial statements and provides an audit opinion that assures users of the financial statements that they are accurate and can be relied on.
This report summarises our analysis of the financial position, performance, and sustainability of the Queensland state government, as reported in the consolidated state government financial statements. It also summarises the timeliness and quality of financial reporting by public sector entities controlled by the state government. In the 2015–16 state budget, the government introduced a number of measures to reduce the level of general government sector borrowings. This is commonly referred to as the government's debt action plan and we consider the financial position of the state against this context throughout this report.