The Auditor General, Charles Deguara, today presented to the Speaker of the House of Representatives,
Hon Anglu Farrugia, the annual report on the workings of Local Government for the year 2017.

By 4 September 2018, being the final deadline prior to publication set by the National Audit Office to
analyse the financial statements of all Local Councils and Regional Committees, the audited accounts of
three Local Councils, namely Qrendi, San Pawl il-Bahar and Valletta, as well as the Gozo Regional
Committee were still not submitted, despite that these should have been officially received by 30 April
2018. Indeed, fifty-three Local Councils and three Regional Committees, managed to deliver by the latter
deadline.

The National Audit Office satisfactorily notes the continued efforts on the part of the Administration to
ensure that Local Councils across Malta and Gozo are given the necessary support in their efforts to
meet the various objectives and obligations. At the same time, the Office reiterates that the time has
come for certain shortcomings which have been repeatedly highlighted in recent reports, such as
procurement not in line with standing regulations, to be addressed without further delay. This would be
extremely important for Local Councils in their entirety to regain the trust of our citizens.

Other major concerns were the fact that:

  • the Local Government Auditor was not in a position to express an audit opinion on the financialstatements of three Local Councils and one Regional Committee, due to absence ofsubstantiating financial records and documentation;
  • a qualified audit opinion was issued on the financial statements of another thirty-nine Local Councils, two Regional Committees and the Local Councils Association, meaning that certainareas could not be audited because of restrictions beyond the Auditor’s control; and
  • ten Local Councils registered a negative working capital, indicating that they will not be able to meet their financial obligations when they fall due.

These shortcomings, along with others which have been identified following an extensive review of the
financial statements prepared by private Auditors for Local Councils, Regional Committees and the Local
Councils Association, are presented in the audit report in caption together with this Office’s
recommendations.

To view report (.PDF) please follow link.