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City of Saint John releases 2019 audited financial report

24-Jul-2020

The City is committed to the financial principles of long-term sustainability, increased flexibility, reduced vulnerability and accountability. 

During the July 23 Finance Committee meeting, the City of Saint John presented its 2019 financial statements for approval. The statements show a clean audit opinion provided by external auditors, Deloitte LLP. A clean audit means that the City’s financial statements are accurate and meet all relevant accounting and legislative requirements. The City of Saint John’s consolidated financial statements are complex and include all 15 agencies, boards and commissions. 

The financial statements will go to Common Council for approval at the August 4 meeting. 

In releasing the financial report, Mayor Don Darling said, “I commend the City’s Finance Department and auditors with Deloitte for their tremendous effort to complete the audit over the past four months. These types of audits generally take hundreds of hours to complete, during the best of times. This year’s audit would have been particularly challenging given the remote work arrangements required during the COVID-19 pandemic response.”

The Mayor’s comments came after Deloitte consultants acknowledged the City for having one of the most successful COVID audits they have worked on this year. 

Highlights of the 2019 Consolidated Audited Financial Results:

A reduction in net debt by $65M, or 20% (from $330M to $265M). Net debt is a key indicator of financial health. The reduction in net debt means the City will need less assets in the future to cover existing long-term debt obligations;
Reduced long-term debt by approximately $13M, or 6% (from $231M to $218M), which means the City will have less principal and interest cost to service in the future;
Approximately $38M invested in new infrastructure and capital assets servicing Saint John residents;
Achievement of securing approximately $69M in external funding towards capital investments; and
A reduction in post employment liabilities by approximately $5.6M.

When reviewing the audited results of the 2019 General Operating Fund, the financial statements present a deficit of $214,971, which represents 0.13% of the City’s $160,257,783 2019 General Operating Budget.

The City’s fiscal year runs from January 1 to December 31.

“The 2019 audit demonstrates the progress the City is making through strong financial management practices and goals set forth in the City’s Long-Term Financial Plan,” said Councillor David Merrithew, Chair of the City’s Finance Committee. “With continued focus and discipline, the City can strengthen its financial stability, flexibility and overall financial position in the years ahead.” 

The City of Saint John Long-term Financial Plan acts as a roadmap to help guide decision-making critical to the future of the City, and reaffirms the municipality’s accountability, transparency and commitment to a healthy financial position. To view the plan, visit www.saintjohn.ca. 

For the Report to the Finance Committee, click here.

 

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