Published On: Fri, Jun 23rd, 2017

Cft Chairman Age Bakker: “More priority should be given to improving financial management of Bonaire”

The improving of financial management remains a point of concern.

BakkerKRALENDIJK - The Board of financial supervision Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (Cft) during its visit to Bonaire on June 20th advised the Executive Council and the Island Council to "exert themselves for a prompt and complete implementation of the recommended new processes and procedures in order to achieve improvement of financial management. This calls for continued governmental attention," Cft Chairman Age Bakker stated.

During its visit the Board met with the Lieutenant Governor, the Executive Council and the Island Council.

The Cft is pleased to observe that there is a thriving economic development on Bonaire. The challenge is to turn this into good quality jobs for the population, which in turn will offer a broad-based economic perspective on the future. In this regard, the Cft has emphasized the importance of governmental stability. That is an absolute necessity for investors’ trust.

The Cft again seeks attention for the improvement of financial management. The Cft observes that steps have been taken to revise and tighten existing procedures and processes, but the implementation of the recommendations as reflected in the financial management reports is still insufficient. The ambition that Bonaire has expressed in favor of obtaining an unqualified auditor's report for the 2017 financial statements is practically no longer feasible. For the 2018 financial statements this may be attainable if indeed the recommendations from the financial management reports are fully addressed. The Cft has pointed out to the Executive Council the need to implement short-term financial management measures and to fulfill a number of crucial job vacancies. The Executive Council has acknowledged the need for this action and also promised to have it finalized it by the end of the year.

Furthermore, the Executive Board discussed the first progress report of 2017 and the two budget adaptations that have recently been proposed. The first budget adaptation mainly contained technical changes. In the second budget adaptation, the Executive Council presented a number of policy proposals, including investment in the infrastructure and the promotion of Bonaire abroad.

The Cft also paid a work visit to the Caribbean Netherlands Pension Fund (PCN). The PCN faces a complex transition problem due to the new monitoring regime, whilst dealing with a substandard coverage level.

This visit of Cft to Bonaire was to discuss the results for the first quarter as well as to address the departure of the current Chairman, Age Bakker as of July 1, 2017, and the introduction of the incoming Chairman Raymond Gradus. The departing Chairman looks back on a successful cooperation with Bonaire.

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