Audit externe sur la dette globale du Canton du Valais / External audit of the overall debt of the Swiss canton of Valais
The motion passed in 2002 in the parliament of the Swiss canton of Valais by the MP Yves Bagnoud requires that the government has the overall debt of the State externally audited. The aim of this study is to provide information to answer the motion. To do so, the study is organised as follows. The initial part briefly describes the structure of the balance sheet of the canton of Valais, according to its main positions, assets and liabilities. It shows the evolution over a twenty- year period and compares it with the ones of the other Swiss cantons. It also raises the issue of estimating the current worth of the balance sheet items, as well as the solution provided by the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS). The second part reviews the various concepts of debt. It makes the distinction between the national/cantonal debt and the public debt, between the gross and the net debt, between the debt in nominal terms and the one in real terms. These various notions are defined and estimated for the State of Valais, either from an historical point of view by presenting the results over the past twenty years, or from the point of view of the intercantonal comparison. The final part deals with the issue of the sustainability of the Valais’ public debt in order to determine if its level is excessive or not.
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