News Release Archive

Finance Minister Bill Gillis has released the public accounts for
the year ending March 31, 1996. Volume I shows detailed revenues
and expenses by government departments and Volume II shows the
spending and revenues of Crown corporations and agencies. A
third, related-document, the supplement to the public accounts,
which shows government salaries and contract amounts, will be
available soon and will be released after the budget is tabled in
the legislature later this spring.

The release of the public accounts for the previous fiscal year,
before the end of the end of the current year, is now required
under legislation.

"This is another part of the government's efforts to increase
accountability. This requirement means Nova Scotians received
detailed information about government spending while the issues
are still in front of the public," said Dr. Gillis.

The public accounts represent a detailed version of the
government's financial report, Hitting the Targets, released last
August. At that time, the government highlighted the fact that it
had achieved a surplus on its operating account for the first
time in sixteen years for the year 1995-96.

The financial results for that year also show 13 government
departments came in under budget and three came in over budget.
The Department of Justice spent more because of a cabinet
decision to spend $32 million dollars in compensation for victims
of abuse in the province's youth correctional centres. Community
Services spent more because of extra costs in developing a
one-tiered welfare system. The Department of Health's spending
was higher than originally expected due to $57 million in extra
spending on health care in 1995-96, and $22 million in
adjustments to correct the accounts of previous years.

Another matter raised at the time was the government's decision
to take into account $51 million worth of capital commitments
made, but not spent at the end of the year. This adjustment was
made to deal with a change in the way capital and current
spending is accounted for. In previous years they were treated
separately, now they are combined.

The financial statements of the province have received an
unqualified opinion by the province's auditors, Deloitte Touche.
The firm said, "In our opinion these financial statements present
fairly in all material aspects, the position of the Province of
Nova Scotia at March 31, 1996 and 1995."


Contact: Bruce Cameron  902-424-8787

NOTE TO EDITORS: Copies of the documents are available in the
Joeseph Howe Room, Province House after 12 p.m. today. Copies
will be in the Government Bookstore when it reopens on April 1,

trp                     Mar. 26, 1997 - 11:55 a.m.