Report of the Auditor General of Canada on the 2018–19 Consolidated Financial Statements of the Government of Yukon

Opening Statement to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts of the Yukon Legislative Assembly

Report of the Auditor General of Canada on the 2018–19 Consolidated Financial Statements of the Government of Yukon

11 December 2019

Karen Hogan
Assistant Auditor General
Office of the Auditor General of Canada

Mr. Chair, thank you for the opportunity to discuss our audit of the consolidated financial statements of the Government of Yukon for the 2018–19 fiscal year. I am accompanied by Lana Dar, who was the Principal responsible for the audit, and Charlene Taylor, who was the Director for the audit.

The consolidated financial statements are a key government accountability document that can help the legislative assembly’s members to understand the results of the government’s financial transactions. We audit these financial statements and provide an opinion on them.

This financial audit matters because it supports the legislative assembly’s oversight of the government, promotes transparency, and encourages good financial management.

The committee’s review of the Public Accounts is a significant step in ensuring accountability for how public funds are spent and how government finances are reported. I am pleased that the committee is holding this hearing to examine the government’s financial results shortly after the release of the consolidated financial statements, while the information is still current.

The 2018–19 Public Accounts were tabled in the legislative assembly on 30 October 2019. The government carries out its accounting and financial reporting responsibilities through its Department of Finance. The Deputy Minister of Finance will answer questions about the preparation of the consolidated financial statements. We will focus on our audit opinion and our audit observations.

Our primary responsibility as auditor for the Government of Yukon is to form and express an opinion on the consolidated financial statements that is based on an audit.

Our independent auditor’s report is on pages 21 to 24 in Part 2 of the Public Accounts. We have issued an unmodified audit opinion on the consolidated financial statements. We assessed the consolidated financial statements against Canadian public sector accounting standards. We found that the statements conformed in all material respects, which means that the information in the statements is reliable. It should be noted that this is the 11th consecutive year for which the Government of Yukon has received a “clean” audit opinion on its financial statements.

During our audit, we focused on 2 areas: the presentation of the government’s pension plans and the impact of management’s estimates on the consolidated financial statements. I will now briefly address these matters.

The government has multiple defined benefit and pension plans. Four of the plans are in a deficit position, and 2 are in a surplus position. In previous years, the government presented these plans on a combined basis in 1 net liability amount on the statement of financial position. For the year ended 31 March 2019, this information was disaggregated. In our view, the new presentation provides better information to users of the financial statements.

To prepare the consolidated financial statements, the government needed to make estimates and assumptions that affected the amounts reported in the statements. In our audit, we reviewed these accounting estimates. We challenged the estimates and assumptions that the government used, and we considered whether amounts included in the financial statements were accurate, complete, and properly supported. On the basis of our work, we found these estimates to be reasonable.

I would like to thank the Deputy Minister of Finance, the Comptroller, their staff, and the staff of the departments and territorial corporations who were involved in preparing the government’s consolidated financial statements. We appreciate the effort, cooperation, and help of all involved.

Once again, thank you for the opportunity to help support the committee in its oversight of the government’s finances. We look forward to appearing before the committee again next year.

This concludes my opening remarks. We would be pleased to answer the committee’s questions.