The Committee for Financial Supervision CFT has marked “fragile improvements” in financial management on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba in general, reports The Daily Herald. The islands closed-off 2012 with a positive result, CFT stated in its half-year report but lack of capacity remains a problem, with partially incorrect or incomplete figures as a consequence. Therefore, financial management on Bonaire and Statia needs to improve, CFT wrote in the report. Capacity problems and limited resources are points of concern.
Only Saba has complied will all points of improvement that were set in 2012. CFT provides insight in the financial situation of the islands on various points. It emerged, for example, that Bonaire, Statia and Saba all spent more money between January and July, 2013, than they received. This may still be compensated in the second half of the year, CFT pointed out. Besides, the three islands are having a positive balance where their fluid assets are concerned.
Bonaire has a positive result of almost US $850,000 on its annual account; however, CFT remarked that this amount may still change because 12 entries on the annual account may be altered. Bonaire is struggling with a financial administration which is not in good order, as a result of which the budgets for 2013 are not fully reliable. The new head of the financial administration, who recently started in this job, will have to solve this problem. The island has, meanwhile, started with the implementation of points of improvement, CFT stated. In the first half of 2013, the Island Council approved interest-free loans for school buildings and a new government administration building. CFT has, in the meantime, given a positive advice. The Ministry of Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relations has put the request for a new administration building on hold until later this year. Bonaire is due to submit the multi-annual draft budget 2014 this month.
The 2012 annual account of St. Eustatius needs to be submitted to CFT on September 15. The island had received two extra months to submit the account, partially due to a lack of staff. The island has made considerable improvements to make financial expenditures more insightful, CFT commented.
Saba received a compliment from CFT for submitting an accountant-approved annual account on July 1, which was described as an “achievement” and “unique in the brief history of the public entity.” Saba closed the year 2012 with a surplus of $54,000. Saba was also commended for setting out a prudent course in drafting the budgets for 2014 and 2015. According to CFT, Saba is working hard in drafting guidelines to even better demonstrate the legality of expenditures to an auditor.