Financial prospects for Saba positive

The Public Entity Saba is going steady financially. Government expects a surplus of US $440.000 by the end of 2017 to pay off interest-free loans, and the Committee for Financial Supervision CFT has approved the first budget amendment.

The Execution Report of the first quarter of 2017. sent to CFT early May. confirmed that the budget plan­ning is proceeding accord­ingly with a US$ 440.000 surplus projected by the end of this year.

The overview of income and expenditure in the first quarter showed US $3.1 million in income and US S3 million in expenditures. with a positive balance of close to US $78.500. Government anticipated that it will close off the year with a total budget amount of some US $12.1 million on both the income and ex­penditure side.

The first 2017 budget amendment, which was approved by CET this month, had initially stated an amount of US S11.5 million. This amount will now be increased by US $571.500 due to the adjustment of the special allowances by the individual Dutch ministries.

These special allowances concern close to US $300.000 for the solar park and some US S262.000 to strengthen the local govern­ment administration, to in­vest in agriculture. as well as the day care centre and the Tourism Master Plan, and to help cover the cost of water transport.

According to the Execution Report. the number of full-time employees in service of the Public Entity Saba per late March 2017. 158 per­sons in total, remained with­in the approved budget. An additional two persons were hired externally, which is in line with the budget. The to­tal expenditures of person­nel was US $1.6 million for the fast quarter and US $7.1 million for the entire 2017. CFT once more complimented Saba for its finan­cial management. The Pub­lic Entity Saba has an ap­proved auditor’s certificate of the annual accounts of 2014 and 2015. “This shows that Saba’s financial management is of a sufficient level.” Salsa has worked on an internal financial man­agement system.

CFI’ was less satisfied with St. Eustatius. The Public Entity St. Eustatius by mid May had still not submitted its first quarterly report, which by law it is required to do so no later than the end of April. CFT urged the Island Government to com­ply.

CFT also remarked that the 2015 annual account should also have been submitted in July 2016. In February 2017 the Executive Coun­cil informed CFT about a new planning to wrap up the 2015 annual account. According to that plan­ning. the annual account should have been handled by the end of April 2017. “The accountant’s control as yet has to be completed. and the handling still has to take place in the Executive and Island Council.” CFT stated in a letter dated May 16 that was published this week.

CFT said it also expected the drafting of the 2016 an­nual account to be delayed. as a result of which possibly the auditing of such by an external accountant will have to be postponed. “It will be a challenge to get the 2016 an­nual account at the Minister in time, seeing the limited period that remains until the deadline by law of July 2017.”

The Daily Herald.

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