Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Annex 7

Letter to the Editor of The Guardian from Mr Dilip Dayaram Tirathdas, Accountant General, Gibraltar


  There have recently been suggestions in the United Kingdom purporting the non-transparency and non-availability of the public accounts of Gibraltar.

  Under the Laws of Gibraltar, the Accountant General has statutory responsibility to prepare accounts showing fully the financial position of the Government of Gibraltar at the end of each financial year.

  I have been the Accountant General for over six years and I can confirm that the annual accounts have always been prepared and submitted for audit within the statutory deadline of nine months from the end of each financial year.

  These annual accounts include detailed statements, summaries and notes, which are subject to audit by the Principal Auditor. On completion of this independent external audit, the accounts and the Principal Auditor's Report thereon are laid in the House of Assembly and made available to the public.

  As part of the Government's policy to improve transparency and accountability in the public finances, the accounts of the Government of Gibraltar were subjected to a restructure with effect from 1 April 1997. The main changes were aimed at ensuring that all the revenue and expenditure of the Government is fully and clearly reflected in the public accounts.

  With effect from the following year, an additional statement was included as part of the public accounts with the heading "Financial Position of the Government of Gibraltar". The object of this statement is to summarise the sources of all public sector finances and the employment of such finances by the Government. This statement is supported by a number of explanatory notes in order to clarify further the financial transactions of the Government during any year.

  Over and above the information contained in the public accounts, further accounts are prepared in respect of a number of Government-owned trading and property companies incorporated under the Companies Ordinance. Following on from the Government's policy on transparency and accountability, all transactions by these companies are closely monitored by the Treasury Department. The accounts of these companies are audited by fully qualified registered and independent auditors, as required by the Companies Ordinance. The audited accounts of the companies are then also laid in the House of Assembly and made available to the public. The Treasury Department is actually tasked with ensuring that the company accounts are prepared, audited and laid in the House of Assembly at the earliest opportunity.

  As Accountant General, I can confirm that full information of the public finances of Gibraltar is made available to the public and any suggestion that this is not the case is just not true.

Yours faithfully,

Dilip Dayaram Tirathdas, BSc (Hons), FCIB

Accountant General

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