Public sector continues to trail private firms in financial reporting

According to the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), the sector faced non-compliance issues, including failure to provide information about assets and liabilities in financial statements.PHOTO: COURTESY

The public sector is yet to meet the expectations of a financial reporting standards evaluation team.

According to the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), the sector faced non-compliance issues, including failure to provide information about assets and liabilities in financial statements.

However, speaking over the weekend at the Financial Reporting (FiRe) Awards ceremony in Nairobi, the chairman of the Public Sector Accounting Standards Board, Bernard Ndung’u, said increased participation in such events from the public sector would enhance transparency in financial reporting.

“We, the public sector, want to assure you that we are very committed... Increased participation in the public sector demonstrates commitment to more open accountability in the use of public funds and offers entities an opportunity to be assessed through IPSAS,” he said.

Among the public institutions evaluated were State ministries, departments, agencies, corporations and semi-autonomous agencies.

According to Mr Ndung’u, however, county governments were not evaluated in this year’s FiRe analysis. The governments, entrusted with Sh302 billion in the current financial year, submitted their audited financial statements nine months after the December 31, 2015 deadline.

The private sector, on the other hand, won praise for its continued improvement in financial reporting. Barclays Bank of Kenya emerged the overall winner in the 15th edition of the awards. The lender also came first in other categories, including governance and banking.

The FiRe Awards were started in 2002 to recognise and award the best financial reporting entities in East Africa to increase investor confidence. There were 399 entries this year, up from 376 in 2015.

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