Publication semi-annual report January-June 2014 Board of financial supervision BES Cft: “Saba is ahead with improvements of financial management”

Willemstad – The three public entities of the Caribbean Netherlands all have finalized the year 2013 with a budgetary surplus. But in the area of financial management their effort needs to be intensified. Saba is showing improvement, however Sint Eustatius and Bonaire do not have their financial management sufficiently under control. This is one of the main conclusions in the semi-annual report of Cft for the period of January–June 2014 regarding the three public entities.

Saba is on track with all reports. The first budget amendment for 2014 and the annual report over 2013 has been adopted by the island council and submitted to the minister of Internal Affairs and Kingdom Relations (BZK). The annual report for 2013 received a declaration of approval from the accountant for a correct reflection and a declaration with limitation regarding the legitimacy. In the event Saba has developed a framework of standards by next year, there is good reason to expect a declaration with a full approval.

Last year Sint Eustatius made a big step in the improvement of its financial management. The administration was cleaned up, which for the first time created insight in the real financial position of the public entity. Sint Eustatius has not yet submitted its annual report for 2013. In the semi-annual report Cft has made some remarks on the legitimacy of some expenditures, which will have to be addressed. Seeing the pressure on the viability of the 2014 budget, Sint Eustatius has already taken some measures to prevent a possible deficit.

Cft has made agreements with Bonaire about the improvement of the financial management. The public entity, the external accountant and the Board are working together to realize the necessary improvements and prevent an instruction. This collaboration was necessary because at the end of last year it became apparent that there was insufficient insight in the financial situation. Bonaire was not in control. There are improvements indeed, but at the same time there are also delays in other areas. For example, Bonaire does not dispose of adopted 2003 financial statements yet.

The three public entities all have realized a budgetary surplus in 2013, which they need to pay off interest free loans and to finance investments.