Financial position Public Entities is improved

Over the past days the Board of financial supervision Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (College financieel toezicht Bonaire, Sint Eustatius en Saba – Cft) had conversations with the three Executive Councils of the Public Entities and the Island Council of Bonaire. During the consultations amongst other things the annual reports of 2012, the execution of the 2013 budget and the preparation of the budget for the coming year were discussed.

Cautious financial management as well as the increase of the ‘vrije uitkering’ and its indexation, caused the financial position of the Public Entities to improve. For 2012, for the first time a positive result was achieved for the three Public Entities. For all the Public Entities the financial management has improved as well. The islands are well on their way to realize the priorities for this year.

Now that a positive result over 2012 is accomplished, it is the right time to focus on building up a resistance capital (weerstandsvermogen). The Board pointed out to the Public Entities how important it is to identify the risks the islands confront, such as natural disasters, and the need to develop a policy focused on the development of resistance capital, to be able to cope with these risks.

In this regard it is relevant that the islands have prepared comprehensive development plans for the coming years. The build-up of resistance capital is even more important when the Public Entities apply for loans for these development plans. The payment cost (aflossingslasten) will increase, whereby the flexibility of the budget may decrease. The surpluses of 2012 could partially be reserved for the development of resistance capital.

All Public Entities set important steps in the progress of their financial management. Saba strives for an approved declaration from the accountant concerning a true and fair view presented in the annual reports for 2012. Sint Eustatius however may be experiencing a delay in the submission of its execution report and annual report, but made remarkable progress in organizing its administration. Bonaire expects to stipulate the annual reports again in a timely manner.

With regard to the financial management the Board has stressed on the stipulated standards (normenkader) and the corresponding management tools to make the account able to evaluate the legitimacy of the accountability. The Public Entities have also set this as a priority. This is important to account for the expenditures of the Executive Councils.

The Public Entities expressed their worries concerning the capacity of their personnel. The Board emphasizes the importance, continuous focus on the capacity is taking place to ensure the improvements accomplished.