During its visit on Wednesday, Febnuary 7, Committee for Financial Supervision (CFI) extensively discussed Hurricanes Irma and Maria and the consequences these had for Saba. The way in which Saba dealt with these storms as a community has made an impression, CFT stated. Furthermore, it was concluded that the execution of the 2018 budget has several financial challenges. During the CFT visit the Executive Council gave a presentation on the way Saba prepared itself before the hurricanes and how it took action during and after.
During a visit to Fort Bay harbour, Commissioner Bruce Zagers gave a detailed explanation of the recovery plans. CFT also took note of the plans to make the port more hurricane-resistant and underlined importance of this matter.
CFT complimented the Executive Council on how the community of Saba has dealt with the hurricanes.
Saba is consulting with the Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations BZK and various departments in The Hague about the use of the funds that have been made available by the Central Government.
The Executive Council explained that measures are being taken to ensure financial accountability for the spending of these resources.
The various challenges with the execution of the 2018 budget were also discussed.
Saba has, for example, requested to consider postponement of the repayments on the interest-free loans in 2018, and is currently awaiting the decision.
In addition, a substantial pan of the Island Government’s income is incidental, while this on the other hand leads to structural cost, creating uncertainty and risks.
The Executive Council indicated that these and other topics will be discussed at the end of February during a visit to BZK and other Central Government departments.
The CFT visit also marked the introduction to Saba of Chairman Raymond Gradus, who came in office on July 1, 2017. A previously planned visit in early October 2017 had to be cancelled due to the hurricanes.
The Daily Herald.