Published On: Wed, Mar 21st, 2018

Cft criticizes financial management again

Mike Ferrier 20180115 - HHPHILIPSBURG – Financial supervisor Cft has advised Minister of Finance Mike Ferrier to hire external technical assistance to put the government’s financial administration and financial management in order. Cft-chairman Raymond Gradus gives the advice in a letter dated March 14. Stmaartennews.com asked Minister Ferrier via email whether he had followed up on the advice, but up to last night had not received a response.

Due to the passing of Hurricane Irma, the government was unable to provide the Cft with quarterly reports about the third and fourth quarter of 2017. In February an agreement was made for the delivery of a report over the second half of 2017 by the end of that month. But up to the date of the letter, the Cft had not received this financial overview.

In December the government of St. Maarten proposed to the  chairman of the Kingdom Council of Ministers to agree with a postponement of the established 2018 budget until March 1, 2018. The Cft received the draft budget on January 26 and the financial supervisor sent its advice back on February 9.

The Cft urges the government to establish the budget – through approval by the Parliament – as soon as possible.

With the budget, St. Maarten is not out of the woods yet because there is also the matter of the annual financial accounts. Based on the kingdom law financial supervision, St. Maarten is supposed to submit the annual account over the previous year by August 31. If the account is not ready by that time, the government has to submit the draft.

The government did not submit the 2016 annual account on time and asked first for a postponement until October 31, 2017, then reported to the Cft that – “until the financial administration functions properly again” – it is impossible to give a new deadline.

That’s not all: the annual accounts for the years 2013, 2014 and 2015 have not been handled and approved by the parliament either.

The Cft now asks Minister Ferrier when St Maarten expects to submit the missing documents.