Published On: Wed, Mar 21st, 2018

Minister Ferrier irritated by Cft-letter

Mike Ferrier 20180115 - HHPHILIPSBURG – Minister of Finance Mike Ferrier has expressed his irritation about a letter from financial supervisor Cft that contains complaints about deadlines St. Maarten is not meeting with regards to the 2018 budget and the annual financial accounts going back to 2013.

In a letter dated March 19, Ferrier gave the Cft an overview of the state of affairs and he emphasized the need for the Kingdom Council of Ministers to take a positive decision about the application of article 25 of the kingdom law financial supervision. That article allows St. Maarten to work with a budget that shows a deficit.

“To our enormous frustration we are confronted with and reminded of not meeting deadlines while we are being held between two stools about the interpretation and application of article 25 of the kingdom law financial supervision by the Cft and the Kingdom Council of Ministers,” Ferrier writes in reaction to the Cft-letter of March 14.

The minister adds that he has experienced the Cft-letter as “very disappointing” also because it gave St. Maarten once again negative publicity. “This damages our reputation in the Second Chamber and with the Kingdom Council of Ministers unnecessary. We expect the Cft to play a positive advising and especially facilitating role under these circumstances.”

Instead, Ferrier continues, the Cft points to deadlines of which it has itself acknowledged that they are not feasible. The minister counters the Cft-observation that St. Maarten does not meet its legal requirements with: “I can put your mind at ease that we are working with all possible resources and urgency on these documents.”

Then the state of affairs. The financial report over the second half of 2017 was submitted to the minister on March 16, handled in the Council of Ministers three days later and is now on its way to parliament and the Cft.

St. Maarten will ask the chairman of the Kingdom Council of Ministers – Prime Minister Mark Rutte – for a postponement of the deadline for the 2018 budget until May 1.

The adjusted draft budget was handled in the Council of Minsters in the week of March 19. After approval, the draft will go to the Council of Advice and the Cft. All this pending a decision by the Kingdom Council of Ministers about the application of article 25 of the kingdom law financial supervision.

The Cft recently sent a letter to the Kingdom Council of Ministers with a request to ratify article 25. This letter was supposed to be handled in this council on March 16 but so far there is no indication that this happened. Minister Ferrier furthermore informed the Cft that the annual account 2013 has been received from the Council of Advice on March 16 and that the ministry is now in the process of writing its reaction. The 2014 annual account is with the Council of Advice for advice and the draft 2015 annual account is ready for a first review by the legal department. The first draft of the 2016 annual account is currently being completed.

Ferrier expects to submit the annual accounts of 2013 and 2014 by May 1 to the Cft, 2015 by July 1 and 2016 by September 1.