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Israeli Government Publishes Financial Statements

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

12 May 2011

The Israeli government’s financial statements for 2010 have just been published, and, for the first time, units in all branches of the government have been consolidated in the reporting process.

The statements included financial data audited by external accountants in 44 government offices and supporting units with a budget representing 34% of the expense budget of all government offices, compared to 24 government offices and supporting units accounting for 17% of the budget last year.

The Accountant General's Department has promoted in recent years significant reforms in the government's financial reporting, with the aim of improving the quality and reliability of the reporting and increasing the relevance of the information presented in the statements. This has included the adoption of accounting standards based on International Financial Reporting Standards and a significant expansion of the external control over the financial statements in government offices.

Minister of Finance, Dr Yuval Steinitz, said that: "Financial statements provide a complete and comprehensive picture of the entity's financial position, and one can learn from them about the entity's stability, weak points, advantages, trends and more. Furthermore, the financial statements have a structured, prescribed and fixed format that provides a common basis for comparing between the data of different governments.

“The State of Israel's accession to the OECD, which is an important milestone in the country's integration in the global economy, obligates the government of Israel to meet advanced international standards, among them proper transparency and reliable, quality financial reporting."

The Accountant General, Shouky Oren, said that despite the great improvement in the quality of the information, there was still a long way to go until the statements fully reflected the financial position and entire economic activity of the State and its institutions, the main gap being in the area of State assets.

The government's budget deficit for 2010 amounted to NIS30bn (USD8.5bn).

TAGS: accounting | budget | audit | Israel | international financial reporting standards (IFRS) | financial reporting | standards

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