The Auditor General, Mr Edward Ronia, has welcomed the completion of auditing work on the accounts of the majority of State Owned Enterprises (SOE).

The Auditor General's office says some of the SOEs had not produced financial statements for many years, some stretching back to 1997. Mr Ronia said he's heartened by the Minister for Finance's assurances reported in the media last Friday that the financial statements will be submitted for his consideration in coming days.

The audit work was undertaken under contract by an international accounting firm, KPMG, and funded by RAMSI under the State Owned Enterprises Accounts Strengthening Project managed jointly by the Ministry of Finance and Treasury and the Office of the Auditor General. The project was responsible for compiling and auditing some 50 financial statements, bringing the accounts up to 2007.

After so many years of inactive reporting by the SOEs, Mr Ronia said he looks forward to the SOE Boards "considering and approving the financial reports produced under the Project and submitting them to him for review." He said this would enable him to issue his audit opinions on the accounts to the Boards, and the responsible Ministers, so that they can be tabled in parliament.

He said parliamentary scrutiny of the operations and financial performance of these major suppliers of essential services to the citizens is crucial. Mr Ronia said that it would also ensure that the Boards properly manage the organizations put under their trust.