Financial supervisor remains concerned about budget process

POSTED: 04/17/11 9:26 PM

Instruction request withdrawn

St. Maarten– The Board of Financial Supervision has withdrawn its request for the Kingdom Council of Ministers to give St. Maarten an instruction on the 2011 budget. The request stems from the fact that the Cft can now give the budget a positive advice.

The letter requesting the instruction was handled in the April 1 meeting of the Kingdom Council of Ministers. The Cft had felt the need to request it at that time, because of a lack of cooperation from the government in Philipsburg. Rather than give an instruction Minister Piet Hein Donner was mandated by the Kingdom Council to press St. Maarten to come to a joint agreement with the Cft by April 14. The government and the Cft then began “extensive contacts”, that led to an integrally amended budget that the Cft gave a positive advice on April 13.

“The process leading up to this budget was of many troublesome months. The Cft therefore appreciates it that Sint Maarten has finally taken the necessary measures to manage to let the budget comply with the norms stated in the Kingdom Act, and moreover has agreed on other measures to guarantee that the execution will also take place within these norms,” the Cft stated in a press release.

Despite that positive advice the Cft remains concerned about the structural issues around public finances.

“The mere difficulties with which the 2009 and 2010 budgets were kept within the financial margins, and even exceeded these margins, are cause for concern. The Board has therefore presented a number of important recommendations that on the one hand will have to see to a good monitoring of the execution of the 2011 budget and on the other hand guarantee the necessary structural improvement of the long term budget,” the Cft also stated in its release.

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