The Malta Independent 23 June 2024, Sunday
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Development of government’s accounting system is real priority for administration - Scicluna

Thursday, 4 June 2015, 12:33 Last update: about 10 years ago

The development of the government’s accounting system is a current and real priority of this administration, Finance Minister Prof. Edward Scicluna said on Thursday morning. The need for proper government accounting has been on the national agenda for many years, he pointed out. In the past, however, progress was somewhat limited. In contrast, the current thrust is to actively address the issue, also in parallel to developments taking place at a European level. He noted that support for development in this direction is unanimous across the political spectrum.

Minister Scicluna was delivering the plenary address at the 15th Biennial Conference of the Comparative International Governmental Accounting Research Network (CIGAR), a network of scholars with a mission to promote worldwide discussion and research on comparative government accounting. The two-day conference, with ‘Making governmental accounting research more relevant: a practice-oriented approach’ as a theme, is being hosted by the Faculty of Economics, Management and Accountancy of the University of Malta and is convening at the University’s Valletta campus.

Minister Scicluna explained that Malta has embarked on a very ambitious project that will drastically revolutionise the current cash system supplemented by accrual accounting templates, to an accruals-based public sector accounting system based on the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS). Accrual accounting, and in particular IPSAS, will enhance transparency and accountability and improve decision-making, both key areas for economic prosperity. They will strengthen public finance management and will have a positive impact on the nation’s reputation with credit rating agencies.

The IPSAS Project will involve the re-engineering of all business processes, revision of policies, a thorough review of legislation, development of new skills and the reorganisation of the finance function in government, the minister observed.  He said that the Treasury itself is presently undergoing restructuring of its functions with the establishment of a Unit specifically entrusted with accounting methodology and financial reporting functions.  This unit is spearheading the standard setting process.   

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