Published On: Tue, Mar 26th, 2013

CFT: More insight, but still no audited annual reports

Committee for Financial SupervisionWILLEMSTAD--The Committee for Financial Supervision CFT says it has received more insight into the challenges faced by Curaçao and St. Maarten with their public finances in the second half of 2012. "This demanded diligence in taking drastic yet necessary measures in both countries."

However, CFT stated in its eighth semi-annual report that the countries' financial management "still needs major improvement." This is illustrated by the fact that up until now neither country has an audited annual report to present to Parliament to account for the use of tax money since October 10, 2010. Curaçao and St. Maarten have started 2013 without budgets adopted by their parliaments. Also, the annual reports of 2010 and 2011 have not been approved yet and are available only in draft. This underlines the necessity for improvement of the financial management.

"Without the adopted budgets and annual reports within the stipulated terms, adequate policy execution will be troublesome," said CFT in a press statement Monday. "Moreover, these are essential documents for Parliament to be able to exercise its role as controller. Reason enough for CFT to actively carry out its supervising role, not only to bring about better provision of information, but also to improve the quality of the financial management."

The process of setting up a new structure for the new countries Curaçao and St. Maarten as well as the organisation behind them "seems to be a great challenge." For both countries, it is important that "clear decisions" are being made "to cope with this problem and that more means will be made available for appropriate financial accountability."

Among other things, the instruction and the resolution of the Dutch First Chamber (Raad van State) on the objection presented by Curaçao resulted in more transparency on issues concerning the real financial challenges Curaçao is facing. Since the Kingdom Council of Ministers has had to be informed by CFT on a monthly basis concerning the financial situation, it has become clear how great the substantial problems in the different management areas are in reality.

Based on the instruction, Curaçao also had to provide insight into the financial positions of its governmental entities. This made it clear that also in that area the problems are considerable and that this represents a real risk for the public budget.

CFT is of the opinion that the Curaçao government has made efforts to comply with the stipulations in the instruction. An important point still remaining is the actual implementation of the proposed structural measures to correct the budget finances sustainably and compensate for the deficits of the past.

CFT will monitor closely how the government complies with these sections of the instruction.

Source: Dutch Caribbean Business

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