Minister Shigemoto says 2010 Annual Accounts to be handled by Council of Ministers after November 17

The 2010 Annual Accounts of the former Island Territory is expected to be handled by the Council of Ministers (COM) after November 17. This has also been communicated to the General Audit Chamber.


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The new approach embarked upon by the Ministry of Finance with respect to the Annual Accounts resulted in a delay in having the 2010 accounts submitted to the General Audit Chamber by September 1st.

The new approach as the Minister of Finance outlined a week ago will cover the period from January 1, 2010 to October 9, 2010 when the island still maintained the status of Island Territory under the constellation of the Netherlands Antilles.

The General Audit Chamber was informed about this approach in a letter dated October 17, 2011 from the Minister of Finance. The same letter also mentioned that the Committee of Financial Supervision CFT was also in agreement with the approach.

The period of October 10, 2010 to December 31, 2010, the first three-months of country status, will be included in the 2011 Annual Accounts therefore creating an extended annual accounts for the period 2010/2011.

"Splitting the 2010 year into two accounts, much deliberation took place with relevant entities and then additional brainstorming before we could come to the final solution which was accepted by all concerned.

"Considering that we have limited resources, this process took longer than we had anticipated. The 2010 Annual Accounts could not be finalized or submitted before there was a solution on how to deal with the complication of becoming a country on the 10th day of the 10th month in the year 2010 therefore creating the situation of a split book year besides a new constitutional status with different laws and administrations.

"The financial administration of country Sint Maarten had to be developed for the transition of Island Territory to Country status. Besides this, we had the challenge of getting an approved 2011 national country budget that took approximately nine months and this of course affected the timely compilation of the national budget for 2012.

"Having said the aforementioned, I put this down to growing pains from the transition of island to country and building a country from scratch within the space of a year. Curacao had everything already in place from the former Netherlands Antilles and Sint Maarten did not have that luxury. All in all, I believe we have done very well with the limited resources we had, and we are all working diligently to make sure that we meet future constitutionally due deadlines with quality products," Minister of Finance Hon. Hiro Shigemoto explained on Sunday.

The Minister of Finance Hon. Hiro Shigemoto says the differentiation between Island Territory and country had to be made, and the General Audit Chamber was also of the same opinion.

The General Audit Chamber is of the opinion that determining the starting financial position of the country is of importance with respect to the execution of its own accounting control for the country’s first annual account based on the rule of law.

The CFT agreed to the Minister’s approach in a letter dated October 11, 2011.

"One must expect delays with the transition process from Island Territory to Country status. Next year we will meet the constitutional due date of having the annual account submitted before September 1st.

"As I stated a week ago, the entire process is expected to be completed within a month. The Council of Ministers is expected to discuss the draft 2010 Annual Accounts after November 17, 2011. After COM has approved the accounts, the former will be sent to the Council of Advice, the General Audit Chamber and the CFT.

"Once the aforementioned bodies have given their advice on the 2010 accounts, the latter will be sent to Parliament for further handling. Preparations will immediately start to prepare the extended 2010-2011 annual accounts," Minister of Finance Hon. Hiro Shigemoto said on Sunday.