The Board of financial supervision (College financieel toezicht – Cft) has submitted a positive advice on the 2011 Sint Maarten budget: in the opinion of Cft this budget complies sufficiently with article 15 of the Kingdom Act on Financial Supervision Curaçao and Sint Maarten. The Cft nevertheless remains concerned about the structural aspects of the public finance.
In the meeting of the Kingdom Council of Ministers on April 1, Sint Maarten was granted up till April 14th 2011 to present a budget 2011 that has been adopted by the Council of Ministers and positively evaluated by the Cft. After said meeting, there was extensive contact between the Cft and the government of Sint Maarten. The result of this is that on April 13th Cft received an integrally amended budget, which has been adopted by the Council of Ministers. The Cft has issued a positive advice on this budget in a letter of April 13th.
The process leading up to this budget was of many troublesome months. The Cft therefore appreciates it that Sint Maarten has finally taken the necessary measures to manage to let the budget comply with the norms stated in the Kingdom Act, and moreover has agreed on other measures to guarantee that the execution will also take place within these norms.
However, the Cft remains concerned about how the public finance will be managed structurally. In that sense the mere difficulties with which the 2009 and 2010 budgets were kept within the financial margins, and even exceeded these margins, are cause for concern. The Board has therefore presented a number of important recommendations that on the one hand will have to see to a good monitoring of the execution of the 2011 budget and on the other hand guarantee the necessary structural improvement of the long term budget.
In the meantime the Board not only sent its advice to the government of Sint Maarten, but also to the Kingdom Council of Ministers. The Kingdom Council of Ministers was informed that now, in the current situation, it is not necessary anymore for the Kingdom Council of Ministers to give such instruction. Two weeks ago, after Sint Maarten failed to submit an adopted and approved budget, Cft advised the Kingdom Council of Ministers to give Sint Maarten an instruction.