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CFT: Financial management remains an issue of concern on St. Maarten


PHILIPSBURG–The Committee for Financial Supervision CFT stressed on Friday that St. Maarten’s financial management remains an issue of concern.

CFT Chairman Age Bakker said there came a time when the government of St. Maarten simply could not use the argument of being a young country anymore as justification for lack of progress on certain fronts. “It’s two years later,” he said.
Bakker mentioned the annual accounts, or lack thereof, of 2010-2011 as a prime example of financial management in disarray. Noting that CFT had not discussed this matter with government this past week, Bakker pointed out that the mentioned accounts still had not been approved and the deadline for their approval had passed.

He said CFT had received a draft in October, but understood that it was still with the Government Accountants Bureau SOAB and the audit chamber. SOAB had six weeks to finish with the accounts, he continued, but CFT had been told not to expect anything until the end of March.

Not having the annual accounts is hampering any control on the 2012 financial year that is being attempted, he said. “You cannot control 2012 if you don’t know what the situation was in 2011.”

Bakker also mentioned the delay in the plans of approach for the Tax Inspectorate and lack of financial insight into St. Maarten’s general pension fund administrator APS as additional causes for concern. “So the financial management is still not where it should be and this needs more attention from government and the Minister of Finance,” he said.
Bakker and the rest of the CFT members met with the media on Friday to brief them on CFT’s meeting with government here over the past few days.

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