Unfinished business: financial management still a priority
October 10, 2020 9:38 pmPhilipsburg – October 9th, 2020. The General Audit Chamber submitted its report entitled “Retrospective: 10 years General Audit Chamber” to Parliament today. The report presents findings and conclusions about the most influential audits of the General Audit Chamber, from the past decade. An analysis of the audits from the past reveals that on some topics, the Government’s financial management has improved, however, structural improvement is lacking. After 10 years, the General Audit Chamber concludes that there is inefficient spending of public funds, no improved compliance nor advancement of the quality of the financial statements. Given the current economic situation, efficient spending is more important than ever, according to the Audit Chamber. In their report, they discuss the need for more efficient use of redundancy pay for former political office holders, the use of government vehicles, traveling costs, the legality of allowances and bonuses, and the possibility of combining the Cabinets of Ministers with staff bureaus of Secretary-Generals. According to the Audit Chamber, to achieve increased financial autonomy the Government must improve financial management. Proper financial management leads to efficient use of taxpayers' money, greater public confidence in the government, higher tax revenues, higher odds of improved compliance, reduced risk of corruption, reduced financial dependence on the Kingdom, and elimination of higher financial supervision. To date, the 2015 financial statements have not yet been handled by Parliament. Without a proper financial statement of the previous year, it becomes nearly impossible to draft a sound budget. Reflecting on the last 10 years, the Audit Chamber concludes that the improvement of financial management remains a priority. The report is published in both English and Dutch and is available on the website of the General Audit Chamber (www.arsxm.org).