Progress in the field of financial management for Saba, St. Eustatius and Bonaire is still a mixed picture; six months after the Board of financial supervision of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba (CFT) announced similar findings in its previous semi-annual report. This writes The Daily Herald.
The latest report announces that Saba and St. Eustatius are progressing, whilst Bonaire shows stagnation. CFT is concerned about the fact that the bank balances apparently could quickly decrease with no timely and adequate explanation given for this decline. The positive report of the accountant about Saba was called a great step forward and an unique achievement.
Saba and St. Eustatius have taken the necessary steps in the improvement of their financial management. With their 2012 financial statements, Saba and St. Eustatius reached a milestone. Saba obtained a positive opinion from the auditor based on the trustworthiness of its financial statements. There is no improvement in the financial management of Bonaire.
The implementation reports for 2013 show that the public entities are probably heading towards an operating surplus in 2013. It should be noted that some special benefits originating from the Netherlands will be transferred with the financial statement to 2014. These funds were not, or not fully, spent in 2013. At the same time, it appears that the liquid assets of the public entities have declined sharply. Often the real cause behind such a development only becomes clear after some time. The deteriorating liquidity position may indicate that investments projected for a previous period, were only committed in 2013, but it can also be an indication of lagging revenues.
For example, the repayment of interest-free loans along with the compulsory repayment of the target funding made available in the past by the Minister of BZK (Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations), may lead to a further deterioration of the liquidity position. CFT chairman Age Bakker: “This means that the relationship between the operating results and the liquidity should be properly monitored, and that in the coming period steps should be taken forward in the area of liquidity management and planning. Furthermore, in order to avoid possible arrears, the liquidity position should be stabilised.” The preparation of the 2014 budgets went smoothly. Prior to the officially permissible date of November 15, Saba, St. Eustatius and Bonaire disposed of a budget adopted by the Island Council, for which the Minister of BZK gave his approval before the start of the new budget year.