The experience gained in drafting budgets over the previous years has made the process of drafting the 2014 budget an efficient one, in the view of Commissioner of Finance Bruce Zagers. The 2014 budget is US $10,144,000, some US $869,000 more than the current budget.
The draft budget, which has been submitted to the Central Committee for examination, meets the guidelines of the Committee for Financial Supervision CFT and is prepared according to the format of the Decree Budget and Accountability BES BBVBES. The budget should be submitted to the Minister of Kingdom Affairs by November 15, a deadline which Saba is expected to meet. As the budget making process has improved in recent years this has greatly increased the accuracy of the multiyear projections over the four year period 2014-2017. This means that very few major adjustments are necessary when preparing a new budget. Recurring governmental expenses such as basic operational cost have been adjusted based on the insight gained from the revenue figures from the 2012 year report.
Another adjustment is in the procedure whereby monies allotted to facility maintenance, which fell under general expenditures, would have to be re-allocated to the specific maintenance projects for which they were earmarked by budget amendment during the first quarter of the year. Now these projects have been already placed within the relevant budget post. This greatly improves efficiency because projects can commence as soon as the budget year begins, which will help eliminate the potential for maintenance project funds having to be carried over to the next budget year.
The Free Remittance, which constitutes the largest contribution the budget of the Public Entity, remains in line with previous years at 87 per cent of the total budget or $8,776,000. Total revenues to be generated locally are $1,368,000 – a small increase over this year; these projections are based on the revenue figures from 2012.
Commissioner Bruce Zagers said that he is satisfied once again to be able to provide a balanced budget that ensures continued development of the island; he also expressed gratitude to his fi nancial team for their hard work in preparing the budget.