Second semiannual report 2012 Board of financial supervision Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba


Cft: "Financially going in the right direction, improvements in financial management are still necessary"


Willemstad – The Board of financial supervision Bonaire, Sint Eustatius en Saba (College financieel toezicht Bonaire, Sint Eustatius en Saba – Cft) ascertains that it can be determined that important progress has been made with regard to the budgeting processes for the public entities and that financial supervision is paying off. However, the financial management remains delicate. Cft declares this in the eighth semiannual report, which has been submitted to the minister of Internal Affairs and Kingdom Relations (Binnenlandse Zaken en Koninkrijksrelaties – BZK) on January 15th .


Cft determines that the processes for preparing and adopting the budgets, for the first time have taken place for all the legal entities within the legal terms. The adopted 2013 budgets are all balanced. This is among others related to the recent raise of the so called ‘vrije uitkering’. Besides the reports concerning the execution of the budget are improving in quality. As it shows, the budgets for 2012 will close with a positive balance for all three of the public entities. Besides all the public entities have a positive liquidity balance. For Sint Eustatius counts that the Preceding Supervision (Voorafgaand Toezicht –VT), which has been introduced by the Minister of Internal Affairs and Kingdom Relations for 2012, as a consequence of complying with the agreements made with Cft, was terminated at the beginning of December 2012 with immediate effect by the Minister.


Despite the fact that the financial statements were prepared in time, in all cases a positive auditor’s opinion is still lacking. Next to the further to be implemented improvements in financial management, the standards and assessment framework that still needs to be drafted and approved, which would enable auditors to give a positive opinion on the financial legitimacy, is still lacking. This forms a major challenge for the public entities, especially given the often mentioned capacity problems. Due to the limited qualitative and quantitative capacity on the islands, the Cft together with the islands stipulates each year only a few realistically achievable priorities. Because of the difference in progress between the public entities, the appointments differ per island.


In the short term the solving of the capacity problem (partly due to the local availability and the competition with other employers for attracting the currently present quality) will be particularly difficult for the public entities. The public entities are therefore still highly dependent on technical assistance. This assistance however is only temporary and very expensive. The Cft has advised the public entities to use an innovative approach to the capacity issue and to undergo a sourcing process. The results of a sourcing project could potentially result in the formation of a Shared Service Center or "twinning" with a municipality from the Netherlands.


In the formation of the public entities the possibility to obtain interest-free loans from a specialist department in the Netherlands was created. This allows for the public entities, in addition to the free allowance (vrije uitkering) from the Netherlands and the own income, a third way to obtain public funds investments. Late last year, the first agreements about this subject were reached between public entities and the relevant Dutch ministries. The Cft evaluates the relevant application on amongst others the repayment obligation related to this. It is important that these are properly integrated into the multiannual budget and that reservations are made for the maintenance costs associated with the investment.