For those of us with the financial nous of a rockmelon, mention of the Auditor-General's office is always a little concerning.
It suggests the need for oversight when perhaps we rockmelons assumed none was necessary. But alas no.
The first line on the NSW A-G's website explains it pretty simply: "The Auditor-General for New South Wales helps the Parliament of New South Wales hold government accountable for its use of public resources."
Simple. And 100 per cent helpful.
An overseer of public monies, great idea. Particularly this year, it would seem.
The recently-released Auditor-General's report said there were 438 "monetary misstatements reported in 2021-22 and 52 councils had "weak processes over the integrity of fixed asset registers".
But back to the dollars and cents, councils in our backyard rated mentions.
"[Shellharbour] council's review of its accounting for the Shell Cove project identified $117.9 million of marina assets controlled by the council, which had not been recognised in the financial statements," the Auditor-General's report said.
You can read the ins and outs of how that came about courtesy of reporter Glen Humphries.
Then there was Kiama council which received a "disclaimed audit opinion" from the AG's office.
It's the equivalent of a red flag but one which Kiama's bean counters revealed before the AG even asked questions.
Neither compared to the biggest of errors which came via Shoalhaven City Council. The council's produced a $288.6 million oversight which "had not reflected the updated revaluation impacts on all infrastructure, property, plant and equipment asset classes", the AG said.
Nine-figure slip-ups aside, there's another finding that almost seems too impossible to believe.
Given that out councils are indeed multi-million dollar entities it stopped this financial rockmelon in their tracks to learn that 47 per cent of NSW councils did not have a cyber security plan.
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