Published On: Fri, Jan 15th, 2016

Arbitrariness in granting state subsidies

Jose JardimWILLEMSTAD - The granting of subsidies to foundations is based on arbitrariness and political interference. This is according to the Dutch news agency Caribbean Network, which managed to get their hands on a report on this issue. This report came out in 2014 and the government has not done anything about it.

On average, more than half of all subsidies - 55 percent – goes in personnel costs of foundations, according to the report. The government does not even know what services are being purchased and there is a large overlap of foundations that provide the same services. Befriended civil servants also extend automatically grants without any accountability from the foundations.

The report was commissioned by the Council of Ministers as part of the downsizing process. “There were valid reasons for this research. The government had the suspicion that much needed to be improved. This is not a thing of the past few years, but of decades. This suspicion is confirmed by this report,” said the Minister of Finance, Dr. Jose Jardim.

The treatment of the document is now scheduled for late January. Why this is so long overdue, Jardim was not able to specify. He did confirm that things need to change quickly.

Jardim stressed that he is already are working on policy frameworks in order to identify what is being purchased by the government at various foundations and where money is spent on. Also, there should be standards for overheads.

The Council of Ministers will discuss all this during their meeting on the subject.

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