Opinion: Political party CPC concerned about the apparent financial mismanagement of St. Maarten since gaining country status on 10-10-2010

POSTED: 06/29/14 4:36 PM

Political party Citizens for Positive Change (CPC) has reviewed the General Audit Chamber’s 2012 Financial Compliance Report and is concerned about the apparent financial mismanagement of St. Maarten since gaining country status on 10-10-2010.

CPC refers to page 15 of the General Audit Chamber’s 2012 Financial Compliance Report where Table 1 (below) shows the 2011 and 2012 budget overruns.

In the compliance audit of 2012 on approx. ANG 450 million of expenditures, there was 85 million in overspending compliance errors. That means that ANG 85 million was overspent in a way that did not comply with the budget. This is 19% of the overall Government budget for that year, which means that the Ministry of Finance (and all the other Ministries) did a poor job in accounting for taxpayer funds and do not have any control over the budget. This conclusion is supported by the General Audit Chamber’s report in which they state: “Ministries of St. Maarten are not ‘in control’ of their operations”.

Apart from the fact that Government is not in control of the budget is the worrisome trend of the bank balance of the Government of St. Maarten over the past 3 years.

From the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten’s Monetary Figures, it can be concluded that the Government of St. Maarten had ANG 184 million in its bank account in April 2012. This figure dropped to ANG 129 million in April 2013 and rapidly declined further to ANG 33 million in April 2014. That is a shocking ANG 151 million decline in liquidity in a period of only 2 years. CPC believes that the decline in Government’s back account balance is a direct result of Government not being in control of its budget.

All tax payers of St. Maarten have a right to the proper financial management and factual reporting of their tax dollars. It is therefore an outrage that to date, Parliament has not initiated any debate on the 2011 and 2012 annual accounts, which they are bound to by law and as such should be held fully accountable. Neither has Parliament released the 2011 and 2012 annual accounts to the public. In fact, the Parliament Committee “Country’s Expenditure” has met 4 times in 2 years (in the period 2011/2012), two of which were to appoint a Chairman and a Vice Chairman for this committee. If one committee should have raised a red flag about the country’s inadequate expense control, it should have been this committee. CPC sees the lack of debate, accountability and urgency over the financial management as a complete failure of Parliament over the past four years.

CPC requests everyone to review the General Audit Chamber’s report (see link below) and recommendations and press upon Parliament to instruct the Council of Ministers to implement these recommendations soonest. Only then will the financial management of St. Maarten improve and thus ensure that future budgets are based on actual accounts and not cooked up to please the CFT, while actual expenditures and income are grossly over- and understated contributing to a further deterioration of our liquidity position.

http://www.arsxm.org/EN/Publications/Regulatory-Audits/Reports/Financial%20Compliance%202012_Financial%20Statements%20Sint%20Maarten.pdf

Citizens for Positive change

 

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Opinion: Political party CPC concerned about the apparent financial mismanagement of St. Maarten since gaining country status on 10-10-2010 by

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