THE HAGUE–The Kingdom Council of Ministers RMR recently prolonged the financial supervision of Curaçao and St. Maarten until 2024. The April 8 decision was based on the findings of the 2021 Evaluation Committee. The 2021 Evaluation Committee advised to fully continue the financial supervision of St. Maarten and Curaçao, because both countries have not complied with the norms of the Financial Supervision Kingdom Law RFT in the period 2018-2020.
The countries’ budgets were not balanced during the period in question and not all anticipated expenditures and revenues were included and sufficiently explained in the budgets and multi-annual budgets. The budgets also didn’t meet the criteria of good order and controllability.
In its evaluation of both countries, the Committee advised to maintain supervision, an advice that RMR adopted during its most recent meeting, Dutch State Secretary of Kingdom Relations and Digitisation Alexandra van Huffelen wrote in a letter to the Dutch Parliament on Wednesday.
“Based on this advice, the Kingdom Council of Ministers decided to continue in its totality the financial supervision by the Kingdom Council of Ministers for both countries, and to have the next evaluation take place within three years, no later than 2024,” Van Huffelen stated.
The RFT is evaluated every three years. This is prescribed in the law which has been in place since October 10, 2010, when Curaçao and St. Maarten attained the status of country within the Kingdom. The first two financial supervision evaluations were done in 2015 and 2018. The most recent evaluation covered the period 2018-2020.
In addition, the 2021 Evaluation Committee made three recommendations with regard to measures that promote the possibility for Curaçao and St. Maarten to comply with the financial supervision norms, and also with regard to the supervision itself. The three recommendations were discussed and subscribed to by the RMR.
The Kingdom government agreed with the Committee’s advice that the two countries need to organise the mandate, budget and execution capacity so financial supervision can be put in order. “It is important that the individual ministries carry the responsibility for good financial management and also (can and want to) assume this responsibility,” it was stated in the letter to Parliament.
According to the state secretary, it is necessary for the countries to be “in control” in order to turn policy intentions into adequate policy decisions, based on sufficient decision information.
“As the Committee noted, the country packages can make an important contribution to this. The reforms and measures with regard to financial management from the country packages have as objective to manage and get the financial management and financial supervision in order,” Van Huffelen stated.
The state secretary explained that the countries, together with the to-be-established Caribbean Body for Reform and Development COHO, were working hard to execute theme A, Financial Management, of the country packages.
Curaçao and St. Maarten have been asked to check to what extent this recommendation of the Evaluation Committee can be included in the execution of the country packages, as well as the Committee for Financial Supervision CFT and the Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations BZK, it was stated in the letter.
Furthermore, the Evaluation Committee advised to organise financial supervision in such a manner that a larger contribution can be made to the long-term social-economic development. Currently, insufficient space is offered, for example, for additional expenditures in education that yield a future return.
Finally, the Committee concluded that the relations between the governments of the two countries and the CFT are often tense. The Evaluation Committee made a few recommendations to improve this relationship. One of the recommendations is for the CFT to assume its advisory role more intensively and to give a more extensive explanation of its advice, as well as better presentation.
Van Huffelen, on behalf of the RMR, stated that she subscribed to the importance of good collaboration between the CFT and the countries. She stated that she viewed the task of the CFT as an independent supervisory body which can give solicited and unsolicited solid financial-economic advice to the countries.
“A constructive collaboration from both sides can improve the quality of supervision in terms of content and tone, as well as lead to better financial-economic performance of the countries. From the evaluation, I conclude that the relationship between the CFT and the countries has already improved,” the state secretary noted.
According to Van Huffelen, the manner in which the collaboration can be further strengthened is primarily a joint responsibility of the countries and the CFT. “I have asked the involved parties, also on behalf of the Kingdom Council of Ministers, to take on this task together and to report about this in the half-yearly reports of the CFT.”
Bron: Daily Herald