Kralendijk – The Board of financial supervision for Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (Cft) has called on both the Executive Council and the Island Council to show more decisiveness in the realization of policy intentions and financial management actions.
The Cft observes that too many financial resources have remained unused in recent years, while necessary improvements are still lacking in various policy areas. When the financial management is put in order, a timely and reliable budget and accountability cycle can be attained.
Resources not fully utilized
Preliminary figures show that Bonaire has realized a surplus of approximately USD 12 million over the year 2018. The revenues were approximately USD 3 million higher and the expenditures approximately USD 9 million lower compared to the 2018 budget. In almost all policy areas the available resources have not been fully utilized. The Cft has advised the Executive Council to ensure that the 2018 financial statements are finalized in time, so that a proposal can still be made to the Island Council to spend the money that has remained unused. Discussions were held with the Executive Council about the possibilities to achieve a situation whereby the policy intentions that are incorporated in the budget will be fully implemented in 2019.
In November 2018 a government agreement (bestuursakkoord) was concluded between the State of the Netherlands and Bonaire. The Cft will monitor the execution of the agreements to improve financial management and has received an explanation from the Executive Council on the current state of affairs. The Cft has agreed that the present financial management improvement plan will be finalized in February 2019. This is important since it has been agreed with Bonaire that the 2021 financial statements will receive an unqualified auditor’s report.
Government owned companies
The government enterprises have also been discussed. These companies carry out government tasks and their proper functioning is therefore of great importance for the citizens. The Cft has called for the improvement of the governance and to comply with the agreements in the government agreement. Specifically, the full staffing of the supervisory boards was discussed and the timely drafting and submittal of the annual accounts. Also in this area decisiveness is essential in the short term.
During the visit of the Board on Tuesday, February 19th, meetings were held with the Lieutenant Governor, the Executive Council and the Island Council.