THE HAGUE--The public entity Saba has received an approved auditor’s report on its 2018 annual account, the Committee for Financial Supervision CFT noted in an August 7 letter in response to the second execution report.
This is the fifth consecutive year that Saba has received an approved auditor’s report on its annual account, an accomplishment that no other Dutch Caribbean government has managed to achieve. To compare: St. Maarten still has to draft its 2017 annual account.
According to the CFT, the auditor’s green light indicated that Saba’s financial management is of a satisfactory level. The second execution report, which the CFT received in time, showed that Saba had arranged additional manpower at the Finance Department to give the 2018 annual account the required attention.
Saba’s liquidity position was positive in the first half of 2019. Saba had a liquidity position of US $25.1 million per late June 2019, of which $22.1 million was received as a special allowance and yet-to-be-disbursed funds from the Netherlands.
The execution report showed $6.8 million in revenues in the second quarter of 2019 and $4.9 million in expenditures, resulting in a positive balance of $1.9 million. Saba expects to close off 2019 with a balanced budget.
The revenues consisted of the free remittance of $4.6 million, of which $2.3 million was from the first quarter, $1.5 million in special allowances, and other revenues, including local levies, of $0.7 million.
The expenditures consisted of personnel cost, the use of special allowances and other regular expenditures, including cost to improve the infrastructure. Some $0.7 million of the special allowances was used for hurricane recovery projects and $0.8 million for other projects, including social housing and solar energy.
Saba had 187 full-time employees in service late June 2019. The total cost of personnel in the second quarter amounted to $1.9 million and in the first six months $3.8 million.
The CFT had given a positive advice regarding the requested amendment to Saba’s 2019 budget. The amendment regarded a budget change of $1.6 million, which increases the total from $17.3 million to $18.9 million. It concerned a budget-neutral change that will not change the balance at the end of 2019.