Saba News: BES Fund Proposals

On Monday, January 18th Commissioner of Finance Bruce Zagers presented a package of documents to the Lt. Governor that will be sent to the Ministry of BZK. In November, the Executive Council met with representatives of BZK and the CFT to discuss the BES funds which will eventually replace the solidarity fund.  

online casino

Zagers stated, "During this meeting a presentation was given as to how the budget for Saba would look once the Dutch tasks were removed." The figures used in this meeting were based on the 2009 budget. This and all previous budgets prepared during the Financial Supervision era are based on the infamous Havermans Report. Zagers has argued that since he took over the post of Commissioner of Finance that the Havermans report did not properly portray the true reality of the well functioning of Government. Although the report did suggest an increase in the Solidarity fund, which has been implemented, the content of this report does not adequately take into consideration all aspects when preparing the island budget. The increase in the solidarity fund went directly towards paying health care bills and for the high costs of Education. Areas such as maintenance and upgrades for departments are difficult to realize because there is no flexibility in the budget and cuts have to be made on a yearly basis to achieve a balanced budget by 2011.

These were the points which were once again argued in the meeting with BZK and the CFT. Zagers stated, "Our Island can achieve a balanced budget but we will see no improvements in Government services and within Government departments. Having a balanced budget at the expense of a well functioning government doesn’t make any sense". It was agreed that the Executive Council could defend their position to BZK and CFT by providing the necessary reports that prove the standpoint of the Executive Council.

The package of information which will be sent to BZK contains five different sections. The first and second sections deal with maintenance projects which need to be completed now as well as a five year projection for all government properties. Zagers said that he was proud and thankful of the efforts made by the Department of Public Works who prepared the underlying documents for the maintenance plans. Many hours have been invested into these plans. Now that they are available, it can be used as a tool for making subsequent budgets.

The third and fourth sections deal with what is lacking per department on a structural basis as well as what one time investments are needed to see improvements per department. The contents of these sections were derived from the Department Plans and from the Executive Council.

The last section is a document prepared by Mr. Gies Biemans, the Transition Manager. This section focuses on what is lacking in the area of personnel. It suggests the need for training for civil servants as well as the need for more qualified employees.

Source: Saba Government Information Services – gi*@sa*****.com