Governance & Integrity

Statia Government: ‘Salary budget Commissioners was not Exceeded’

Government commissioners Alida Francis and Claudia Toet

Oranjestad, St. Eustatius- According to Government Commissioners Alida Francis and Claudia Toet, there has not been any budget overrun when it comes to either special allowances, or the salary payments to Government Commissioners Marnix van Rij and Alida Francis.

This is stated in a press release sent out by Government on Wednesday. The matter was raised last week by Councilman Koos Sneek who sent in several written question on the second so-called progress report, giving an overview of the government’s budget and the realization thereof. The press release sent out by Government, refers to a ‘misinterpretation’ of the figures.

“Previously, the Central Government financed the salaries of the Government Commissioners. This has changed at the end of the year 2020 which effected the regular budget in 2021. Due to the change, it might seem that the budget was exceeded but in reality, it has not. The next step is that a budget amendment needs to take place. The Unit Finance of the Public Entity St. Eustatius confirms that there were no extra salary costs for previous Government Commissioners van Rij and Francis. One of the changes in the change management plan for Finance is to work accordingly to the Decree Budget and Reporting (Besluit Begroting en Verantwoording)”, according to the release.

The release also states that the salaries of the Government Commissioners are a ‘budget neutral’ item in the budget. Effective 2021 the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations has decided to exclude the addition to the free allowance of the salary costs for Government Commissioners, to be provided to the Public Entity by other means. From 2021, a special allowance will be provided by the Ministry to the Public Entity to cover the budgeted salary costs of the Government Commissioners.


The release by Government also states that there has not been any overspending, as was mentioned in the article of the BES-Reporter, based on Sneek’s questions. “It was also indicated that there would be an overrun of 2 million USD in the second periodical reporting.  This is also not correct. There is no overspending of 2 million USD. The projects are not closed administratively, which means that additional costs are yet to be transferred” according to Toet en Francis.

Somewhat peculiar in the Government’s press release is the fact that it focuses mainly on what was reported by The BES-Reporter on the issue, but does not mention the fact that these questions were actually raised by Councilman Koos Sneek.

According to Sneek, on Wednesday afternoon he still had not received any answers to his written questions on these and other matters raised by him.

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