The financial information presented in the 2020 Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update (Pre‑election Update) includes the unaudited actual results for the year ended 30 June 2020. This is because the revised timing of the Pre-election Update means actual results for the 2019/20 financial year are now available, but have not yet been audited and finalised.
The unaudited actual results have been compiled from information provided by government reporting entities, and have been prepared by the Treasury ensuring they reflect the best judgements, estimates and assumptions currently available. The Treasury submitted these results to the Auditor-General by the statutory deadline of 31 August.
Results for the 2019/20 year will not be finalised until the audit of the Financial Statements of the Government of New Zealand for the Year Ended 30 June 2020 (Financial Statements) has been completed. Given this, the unaudited financial information presented in the Pre-election Update may change. Any changes will be discussed in the Financial Statements when published.
The economic impacts of COVID-19 mean there is more uncertainty around the estimates and assumptions used in asset and liability valuations, and in determining accrued revenues and expenses, such as tax revenue and receivables. These uncertainties have been outlined in the fiscal outlook chapter of the Pre-election Update.
While the Treasury acknowledges the additional complexities around determining key judgements, estimates and assumptions due to the impacts of COVID-19, we are confident in the quality of the unaudited actual financial results contained in the Pre-election Update.
The Auditor-General has advised that he will not be in a position to issue an audit report on the Financial Statements by the end of September, which is the time frame set out in the Public Finance Act 1989. The reasons for this are related to the impact of COVID-19:
- Firstly, the timing of receipt of information from government reporting entities that is needed to complete the audit has been later than usual, and there has been restricted access to those entities as a result of different alert levels. This has disrupted audit work and resulted in it taking more time than usual.
- Secondly, the level of complexity and increased uncertainty in the judgements, estimates and assumptions has resulted in the audit taking more time than usual. This affects many parts of the financial statements, including income taxation revenue estimates, physical asset valuations, financial asset valuations, and some provisions.
The Treasury is working closely with the Office of the Auditor-General to finalise the Financial Statements. We expect the Auditor-General will issue his opinion by 31 October and the Financial Statements publicly released in early November.
EnquiriesTreasury Communications Team
Tel: +64 4 917 6268
Email: [email protected]