UDC’S STATEMENT REGARDING THE STATUS OF ITS ANNUAL REPORT
October 23, 2020, | Kingston, Jamaica: The Urban Development Corporation (UDC) seeks to clarify reports regarding the status of its Annual Reports and its responsiveness to the Auditor General’s Department (AuGD) as shared in recent media publications. The Board and Management of the Corporation are committed to transparency, accountability, and good governance which have been key areas of focus over the past few years.
The UDC and its subsidiaries, in keeping with the Public Bodies Management & Accountability (PBMA) Act, are required to submit Annual Reports inclusive of Audited Financials within four months of the close of each financial year. The process includes for draft reports to be submitted to the portfolio ministry, which is now the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation (MEGJC), for review by Cabinet and subsequent submission for tabling in Parliament. It is important to note that prior to the 2012/2013 financial year, annual reports were not submitted for the individual subsidiary entities, but as a composite report submitted by the UDC as parent company.
The Corporation acknowledges that some of its Annual Reports are outstanding and advises that this has been due to unresolved property and financial transactions which have led to major impairments of its Balance Sheet. Since July 2017, the UDC has been documenting our concerns about key external matters that affected the completion of the 2016/2017 financials and Annual Report. Since that time, there have been ongoing discussions with our external auditors and the Ministry of Finance and the Public Sector to address these matters; some of which have been sufficiently resolved to allow for the completion of financials and Annual Reports in a retroactive and chronological order, as is required.
The following is a summary of the Annual Reports and Audited Financials for the UDC as at October 2020:
|Financial Year||Annual Report Status||Comment|
|Up to 2015/2016||Completed, tabled in parliament, and posted on UDC website.|
|2016/17||Audited Financial and draft Annual Report now reviewed by MEGJC and Cabinet for tabling.||Final report scheduled to be tabled in parliament for November 2020.|
|2017/18||Annual report and financial signed by UDC Chair and submitted to MEGJC in October 2020.||MEGJC and Cabinet review process scheduled to commence in November 2020.|
|2018/19||Financial Audit scheduled for completion in November 2020||Annual Report to be completed within a month of completion of Audited Financials (December 2020)|
|2019/20||Audit has not yet commenced. Negotiations in progress to advance the start of the audit prior to completion of 2018/19.||Completion date of the audit will determine the submission of report.|
The Annual Reports including audited financials for UDC Subsidiary companies have been outstanding from 2012/13 for the Caymanas Development Company, from 2013/14 for the Runaway Bay Water Company as well as the Ocho Rios Commercial Centre and from 2014/15 for the St. Ann Development Company. The UDC has appointed a dedicated team to manage this process with a deadline for completion of all reports by the end of the financial year.
Regarding the other outstanding matters for the completion of the Auditor General’s Performance Audit, the Corporation can confirm that there has been on-going correspondence with the AuGD to complete this review. The UDC’s last communication in July 2020, addressed questions related to lands transferred to the Jamaica North-South Highway Company as per a 2015 Cabinet decision and included audited financial statements for 2017/18 and in-house financials for 2018/19 and 2019/20. Though the UDC’s management was not notified by the AuGD of the constraints to complete the process, follow up with their team on October 20, 2020, confirmed the outstanding documentation which will be packaged and submitted within the week.
The public is assured that the UDC Board, management and staff remain committed to transparency, accountability, and good governance as it continues the work of making development happen in Jamaica and further updates on our efforts will be shared over the coming months.