PHILIPSBURG – The Ministry of Finance organized a Budget Day 2016 Retreat in order to better synchronize the efforts of the seven Ministries concerning their preparation of and contribution to the Budget 2016.
The Budget Day 2016 retreat includes two days of presentations and deliberations. Day one of the retreat took place on Thursday, May 21, at the Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa with Raymond Begina of KPMG as moderator. Day two is scheduled to take place on Thursday, June 11.
It was the first time that such a retreat was organized to support the drafting of the country’s national budget. All the Ministers, except for the Minister of Justice who was off island due to discussions with the Netherlands on the integrity chamber draft law, presented their budgets and provided elucidation concerning their Ministries’ policy plans, budgetary risks and bottle necks.
Acting Secretary General of the Ministry of Justice, Udo Aron, presented on behalf of the Minister of Justice. The presentations included a multi-annual approach concerning budgetary trends per Ministry. Each Minister was at least supported by their Secretary General and financial controllers. The Ministry of Finance was represented as well by the Concern Controller and members of the Department of Financial Policy, Taxes & Budgeting (FBBB).
At the retreat the Ministries were made aware that the drafting of the budget is not solely the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance, but a collective responsibility of all the Ministries. In addition, by sharing the reasoning behind each Ministry’s budget, a more comprehensive approach was established concerning the overall national budget.
All Ministries now clearly understand the constraints of the national budget and what is expected from each Ministry. Each Ministry will prepare new presentations based on the new insights gained during the day and offer solutions to the risks and bottlenecks discussed.
The new approach concerning the drafting of the country’s national budget fits with the Council of Ministers’ priority, which is to submit the budget in accordance with legislation to Parliament.
The seven ministries are: Ministry of General Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth & Sports, Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport & Telecommunications, Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment & Infrastructure, and the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development & Labour.
PHOTO CUTLINE: Minister of Finance Hon. Martin Hassink speaking at Budget Day 2016 retreat on May 21. DCOMM Photo