Published On: Wed, May 16th, 2018

Court of Audit: Supervision of islands’ finances is insufficiently effective

Court of AuditorsWILLEMSTAD - The Court of Audit thinks that the financial supervision of the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom is seriously inadequate and urges the government to take measures to increase effectiveness.

This is evident from the investigation that the Court conducted in the context of the annual accounting day to the Annual Report of Kingdom Relations and the BES Fund. "Where Saba has a sound financial management, the financial situation of Bonaire and St. Eustatius has been worrying for many years. This also applies to the financial situation of Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten," according to the Court's report published today.

"In order to achieve a sustainable financial government economy, a system of financial supervision has been set up. In view of the worsening financial situation on most islands and the low quality of financial management, questions can be raised about the effectiveness of current supervision. We recommend evaluating the financial supervision and, if necessary, taking measures on the basis of the outcomes to increase the effectiveness of this supervision."

On behalf of Undersecretary Raymond Knops, Minister Kajsa Ollongren said she could understand the criticism. "Experience shows that the islands have great difficulty with good financial management, especially when there are frequent changes in government. There is a lot of room for improvement and that requires constant attention. I am currently in talks with Aruba about the future of financial supervision. The worrisome financial situation of Aruba and the high public debt (90% of GDP) underline the urgency of this consultation. The financial supervision of Sint Maarten and Curaçao has the permanent attention of the Financial Supervision Council (Cft) and the Kingdom Council of Ministers," says Ollongren, who adds that she has asked the Cft to pay explicit attention to financial management and transparent public accountability.

The Court is not satisfied with the government's reaction. "We think it is doubtful whether the activities mentioned are sufficient to tackle the persistent problems regarding the financial situation and financial management."

Photo: Court of Audit

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