Published On: Mon, Mar 10th, 2014

Cft Chairman Age Bakker: “Time for the next step”

CFTWILLEMSTAD - The Board of financial supervision Curaçao and Sint Maarten (College financieel toezicht Curaçao en Sint Maarten - Cft) concludes in its semiannual report on the second half of 2013 that the financial management of both Curaçao and Sint Maarten is not in order yet.

The coming period will be completely dedicated to the improvement of the financial management. Cft Chairman Age Bakker: “The adopted budgets of 2014 of both countries meet the standards. It is now time to take the next step and actually get in control.”

Fact is that major steps have been taken with regard to bringing the budget into balance. Curaçao especially showed great commitment with the introduction of various measures to balance the multiannual budget, based on which loans for investments are allowed again. Sint Maarten also took a huge step with realistic budgeting for 2014.

The Curaçao budget was adopted on time, while Sint Maarten’s had a couple of weeks of delay. Nevertheless, this is also a big step forward for Sint Maarten this year, as the budget of the previous year was adopted until September. Although Cft takes notice of these improvements regarding the determination of the budget of 2014, the supervisor puts immediate attention to a second important attention area: the financial management that is still not in order.

Financial Management

The Ministry of Finance of Curaçao is currently working hard on initiatives to really improve the financial management. Cft is hoping that this effort will bear fruit in a short term. Everything should be aimed at adopting the budget amendments and the financial statements in time, and eventually get a declaration of approval from the auditor. Sint Maarten focused during these last month’s especially on getting the budget adopted. The problems that the country had to face when balancing the budget had also to do with the shortcomings of the Tax Service.

Financial Statements

Rendering accountability by means of the financial statements is still a point of attention for both countries. The financial statements are produced with delay and they get, without exception, adverse audit opinions. That means that the financial statements are not sufficiently reliable to allow for a correct assessment of how and what recourses have been spent. As a result the financial statements lose most of their value as a controlling instrument. Timely and correct financial statements will eventually also contribute to making the budget process go smoother. This applies as well to the financial statements of the governmental corporations. The Cft indicates that the risks with regard to the governmental corporations are still great, particularly for Curaçao, so transparency and timely rendering of accountability of these entities is of great importance.

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