The Daily Herald writes that the three public entities Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba have all finalized the year 2013 with a budgetary surplus. But in the area of financial management their efforts need to be intensified. Saba is showing improvement, but Statia and Bonaire do not have their financial management sufficiently under control. These are the main conclusions in the semi-annual report of Committee for Financial Supervision CFT for the January–June 2014 period.
Saba is on track with all reports, CFT stated. The first budget amendment for 2014 and the 2013 annual report have been adopted by the Island Council and were submitted to Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk. The 2013 report received a declaration of approval from the accountant for a correct reflection and a declaration with limitation regarding the legitimacy. “In the event Saba has developed a framework of standards by next year, there is good reason to expect a declaration with a full approval,” CFT stated Thursday.
Last year, Statia made a big step in the improvement of financial management, according to CFT. “The administration was cleaned up, which for the first time created insight in the real financial position of the public entity.” Statia has not yet submitted its annual report for 2013, which was approved by the Island Council on Tuesday. In the semi-annual report, CFT made remarks about the legitimacy of some expenditures, which will have to be addressed. Seeing the pressure on the viability of the 2014 budget, Statia has already taken some measures to prevent a possible deficit, it was said.
CFT has closed agreements with Bonaire about the improvement of financial management. The public entity, the external accountant and the CFT Board are working together to realize the necessary improvements and prevent an instruction. “This collaboration was necessary, because at the end of last year it became apparent that there was insufficient insight in the financial situation. Bonaire was not in control. There are improvements indeed, but at the same time there are also delays in other areas. For example, Bonaire does not dispose of adopted 2013 financial statements yet,” CFT said.
The three islands all realized a budgetary surplus in 2013, with which they need to pay off interest-free loans and finance investments, it was stated.