Early this year, a multi-year improvement plan on financial management was launched. During its consultation with the public entity, Cft stressed its satisfaction with the fact that execution of the improvement plan was taken on promptly.
The Board of financial supervision Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (College financieel toezicht – Cft) met on Tuesday with the executive council of Bonaire. During this consultation amongst others the subject of the agreements reached earlier this year with the Cft to improve the financial management was discussed. The implementation of the 2014 budget, the recently adopted 2015 budget and the liquidity position of the public entity were discussed as well.
In the first months of 2014 a number of bottlenecks in the financial management were immediately tackled by Bonaire; this was however later followed by a delay. With a new composition of the Finance Department as per October financial management fortunately has received again the attention it deserves. Cft is confident that in the second half of next year the latest, the Bonaire government will have its financial management plan on the level where this can be considered as sufficient.
The Minister of Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relations recently approved the 2015 budget which has been adopted by the island council. The budget amounts to approximately USD 53 million. In the budget room was made for investments in infrastructure such as for example roads, quays and piers. Furthermore a number of current loans will be paid off. The Cft is pleased that the public entity has found room in the budget for these investments which are needed for economic growth. The Cft has insisted on addressing budget discipline and to consider the budget as a framework in which tasks are determined. Multiple and sizeable changes in the budget do not fit. Both the budget execution and the liquidity position shall have to be closely monitored, since the liquidity position is of great importance for the capacity to carry out the investments Bonaire desires. The public entity has indicated to understand the importance of this matter and therefore it will provide an update on the liquidity position and expectations very regularly.
During its visit to Bonaire the Board also was introduced to the new interim head of the Finance department. It also met with the management of the Bonaire Holding Company (BHM). With the members of the management the implementation of the corporate governance code for BHM and its subsidiaries was discussed, as well as possible financial risks these foundations and NV’s represent for the public entity.