Government of the Northwest Territories Releases the 2016-2017 Public Accounts

November 8, 2017
News Releases

YELLOWKNIFE (November 8, 2017)– Today, Robert C. McLeod, Minister for the Department of Finance with the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) released the GNWT Public Account information for 2016-17.

In an effort to meet the GNWT’s commitment to improve openness and transparency, the Public Accounts are being released to the public prior to being tabled in the Legislative Assembly. Accompanying the Public Accounts is a plain language companion document intended to be used as a tool to help the public better understand their government’s finances.

Highlights from the 2016-17 Public Accounts include:

  • An operating surplus of $175 million, $35 million more than what was originally budgeted. The operating surplus is an important part of funding the acquisition of capital assets.
  • Overall, $368 million was spent in 2016-17 to acquire capital assets.
  • An increase in net debt of $65 million in 2016-17. Short-term debt decreased by $43 million during the year.
  • Total expenses were $7 million less than budgeted for 2016-17 and total revenues were $28 million more than budgeted.

The GNWT continues to manage growth in spending, while making targeted investments to encourage economic growth and address the infrastructure deficit. Infrastructure investments focus on health care, education and transportation and make the Northwest Territories a safer, more competitive and productive Territory, while supporting the creation of jobs in construction and related industries.

Quick Facts:

  • The revised Financial Administration Act allows for Public Accounts to be released to the public before being tables in the Legislative Assembly. This is in line with the Government’s mandate to provide improved planning, transparency, accountability and fiscal responsibility.
  • The Public Accounts were signed October 26th, 2017 and received an unqualified audit opinion.
  • The timeliness of the Public Accounts improved almost 3 weeks (signed November 14th in 2016).
  • The budget surplus was mainly attributable to an increase of $20 million in personal and corporate income tax revenues.
  • Debt was incurred to finance capital infrastructure and supports working capital requirements for programs and initiatives. This past fiscal year’s increase is largely attributable to the financing related to public/private partnerships of $142 million for work done to date on the Mackenzie Valley Fibre Link and Stanton Territorial Hospital Renewal projects.
  • Overall, the Territory’s economy decreased by 0.1% in 2017 as measured by real GDP. This decline is the result of a decline in the construction and mining, oil and gas sectors in the 2016 calendar year.

Relevant Links:

Public Accounts overview

Public Accounts document

Media Contact:

Todd Sasaki
Communications Officer
Department of Finance
(867) 767-9151 ext. 14032