Bonaire grants renewed priority to strengthening of financial management Age Bakker (Cft): “Sound financial management is of major importance for public entity Bonaire’

Kralendijk – The next few months are crucial for the public entity Bonaire to get its accounting in order, and, in a broader sense, its financial management as well. Early this year the implementation of a multi-annual improvement plan for the financial management was started and Cft emphasized in consultation with the public body that the steps contained therein should be pursued actively, just as was agreed before.

Last Tuesday the Board of financial supervision Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (College financieel toezicht – Cft) amongst others had meetings with the executive council and the island council of Bonaire. During those consultations among the subjects discussed were the agreements made ​​earlier this year with the Cft on the financial management multi-annual plan. The implementation of the 2014 budget, the liquidity position of the public entity and the expectations regarding the financial year 2015 were also discussed.

Financial management
The latest draft implementation report which covers the months up till June 2014 shows that a number of problems in the financial management have immediately been dealt with by Bonaire. After the realization of these quick wins, the accomplishment of other necessary financial management improvements was however delayed. The late completion of the financial statements in 2013, combined with a capacity problem in the Finance Department, together had as a consequence that lately the improvement plan did not get the attention it deserves. The Board is confident the actions as promised by the government of Bonaire will ensure that in a short term the promised improvements will be realized.

The executive council of Bonaire has indicated that with the change process that has been initiated, it is expected that the budget will be better used as a steering instrument than was the case before. The inclusion of the directorate model in the 2015 budget however will take some time, with the possible consequence that the submittal of the budget to the island council can be delayed. It is however not expected that this will jeopardize a timely submittal of the adopted budget to the BZK minister. Furthermore, the public entity shall have to keep a close eye on the liquidity position, as this position is of great importance for the ability to accomplish the desired Bonaire investments.

Additional visits
During its visit to Bonaire, the board met with the newly installed kingdom representative, Mr. Gilbert Isabella. During this meeting, the mutual duties and responsibilities were discussed. The Cft also met with a delegation of the Chamber of Commerce and brought an inspiring visit to the Punta Blanku Farm. On ​​the land surrounding this chicken farm people are very excited to work on the cultivation of vegetables, especially original crop of Bonaire. The Punta Berde Bonaire project is a private initiative, set up together with Caribbean Energies. Given the opinions of experts from RCN, it concerns a great example of public-private cooperation.