Home / 1-News / ‘Structural tasks require structural financing,’ CFT tells Saba Gov.

‘Structural tasks require structural financing,’ CFT tells Saba Gov.

The Committee for Financial Supervision (CFT) for Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, which visited Saba Tuesday, February 18, and Wednesday, February 19, said the budget, account­ability and financial manage­ment on Saba remain of suf­ficient level. The CET also noticed that some structural tasks are still being funded in an incidental manner.

The CFT members said they had held “constructive” meetings with the Executive and Island Councils during their two-day visit to Saba.

From left: Committee for Financial Supervision (CFT) members Herbert Domacassé, chairman Raymond Gradus and Henk Kamp in front of the Government Administration Building in The Bottom.

Since 2014, Saba has re­ceived unqualified auditors’ opinions for all financial statements. The other bud­get documents and execution reports meet the required standards. However, the CFT has identified several challenges that Saba, in col­laboration with the Nether­lands, have to deal with in the upcoming period. This mainly regards the creation of structural coverage in the annual budget for structural tasks and the development of sufficient resilience capacity.

The Netherlands and the Public Entity Saba agreed in 2019 on the so-called “Saba Package”, which among other things stipulates that both governments will strive to finance structural tasks with structural resources. Per ministry it is to be assessed how to achieve this.

In its response to informa­tion from the Council of State and the Interdepartmental Policy Research, the Dutch government also indicated in October 2019, that the allot­ment of tasks will be clarified and restructured, after which it will be evaluated whether the free allowance (“vrije uit­kering”) fits in with the tasks of the public entities. The CFT has agreed with the Ex­ecutive Council to jointly de­termine this further.

The fourth execution re­port for 2019, on which the CFT advised recently, shows a positive balance of US $1,000,000. The draft bud­get for 2020, received by the CFT for advice on October 16, 2019, is balanced. “This was reached with a great deal of effort,” the CFT said in a press statement on Friday.

Compared to previous years, Saba had to reduce the budgeted amounts for cer­tain matters. For example, the budgetary item “Contin­gency Reserve” has been re­duced from $100,000 in 2019 to $22,000 in 2020. The CFT advised Saba to add a pos­sible surplus for 2019 to the 2020 budget.

In CFT’s opinion, the 2020 budget complies sufficiently with the criteria. The 2020 budget was adopted by the Island Council on November 13, 2019, and approved by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations on December 3, 2019, in accor­dance with the CFT advice.

The Daily Herald.

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