The municipalities in Saxony-Anhalt are lagging behind when it comes to important homework. In order to reduce the backlog in the annual financial statements, the supervisors can put pressure on them.

Magdeburg (dpa/sa) – Saxony-Anhalt’s municipalities have had large backlogs in their annual financial statements since 2013. At the end of last year, 981 of these household balance sheets were still missing. From a total of 1983 financial statements, 1002 have been drawn up so far. This was announced by the Ministry of the Interior on request.

Since 2013, the municipalities in Saxony-Anhalt have been obliged to prepare their budgets according to a new system. For the so-called dual budget management, an opening balance must be drawn up, which is updated annually. In this context, annual financial statements are to be submitted. With the balance sheet, the cities and municipalities should document their income and expenditure.

Compared to a survey from the previous year, the municipalities have caught up. While only 37 percent of the annual financial statements due had been prepared on December 31, 2021, this proportion has now risen to 51 percent. A spokeswoman for the Ministry of the Interior said some of the municipalities had managed to completely catch up on the backlog. “Many other municipalities are working with increased intensity on the preparation of the annual financial statements, using the simplification options.”

Interior Minister Tamara Zieschang (CDU) had called for more speed in the creation in the past. The local authorities have the opportunity to put pressure on them. Among other things, they can involve external consultants or service providers at the expense of the municipality in order to draw up annual accounts that are still open.

In order not to further increase the traffic jam, the state is also giving the local authorities other tools. For example, the authorities can object to or not approve the budget for 2023 in cases where no annual accounts for the 2021 financial year have yet been handed over.

According to the Ministry of the Interior, this can be refrained from “if the municipality in question is already at an advanced stage of processing and at the same time can present a concrete timetable with a short time frame”.