Government entities massively fail to submit annual accounts

POSTED: 04/24/13 10:22 AM

St. Maarten – Government entities massively fail to submit their annual accounts to the Finance Ministry. A review of the thirty entities in a report from Pefa, a workgroup of financial supervisor Cft, shows that of five entities no information was available at all, that none had  last month, that six had submitted their 2010 annual accounts and that the last account from the remaining 19 entities dates back to 2009.

Post NV, Winair NV, Marven NV (owner of the government administration building), Comadeco NV and the Economic Development Corporation are the entities of whom no information is available.

The Princess Juliana Airport Holding NV, Gebe NV, the St. Maarten Harbour Holding company NV and the Sint Maarten Telecommunication Holding Company NV, the Nature Foundation and the Sint Maarten Medical Center submitted their last annual account in 2010.

Among the entities that failed to submit an account after 2009 are the White and Yellow Cross Foundation, the No Kidding with Our Kids Foundation, the St. Maarten Housing Development Foundation, Safe Haven, the Philipsburg Jubilee Library, Turning Point and the National Heritage Foundation.

The Pefa-report notes that the finance minister has not examined the annual accounts he did receive. “Therefore there is no annual monitoring of the collective sector of government entities. There is no clear policy about who is responsible for this and there is no insight in the financial risks the country could run,” the report states.

Of the thirty entities, fifteen are foundations and the other half are government-owned companies. The government should have the annual accounts at its disposal the latest in September of the year following the previous accounting year. This means that the annual accounts for 2011 of all entities should have been submitted to the Finance Ministry already seven months ago.

Pefa stands for Public Expenditure and financial accountability. The Pefa-framework monitors the quality of the country’s financial management. This has to meet established standards by October 10, 2015, if St. Maarten wants to see financial supervision come to an end on that date.

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