I recently got mail from The Corporate Governance Foundation Aruba, SDBA, it wanted to provide me with general information about the quality of public administration according to the principles as stated in, among other things, Report Calidad, I don’t remember who wrote the report, but it is important, as it names indicates it has to do with quality.
Why should we be interested.
Because immediately after the announcement of our Status Aparte, 1986, GOA did not take the standards of corporate governance seriously. Inadequate management became the norm, and that proved disastrous for the country.
So, this mail was written by Armand Hessels. I like to follow him, he is a retire PE teacher, and instead of smelling the roses, he prepared long reports about public finances and the right way to run a country vs the wrong way.
You have to appreciate that. His NGO, The Corporate Governance Foundation Aruba, SDBA, holds occasional symposiums and talks, and attempts to Keeping Them Honest which is difficult because nepotism and favoritism are entrenched in our culture, and no GOA has EVER showed willingness to tackle that core issue, Government expenses.
So this is what Armand said this week
In past decades, Aruba’s own advisory and supervisory bodies such as the SER, the Advisory Council, the Netherlands Court of Audit, and other officially established committees, as well as international advisory organizations, the rating agencies, and the IMF, all issued various reports with recommendations for the island. Most of the recommendations were aimed at reducing the country’s largest cost item, namely civil servants, and improving financial management. All advice has been systematically ignored by previous GOAs. As a result, public finances became disastrous, April 2016. This had an impact on all areas, especially government initiatives, subsidies, even normal financial obligations became increasingly difficult to meet, because, there is no money.
Meanwhile, the national debt of Aruba skyrocketed to more than Awg 4 billion, and became unbearable. The debt to GDP ratio is currently above 80 percent. Including the upcoming obligations paying for the PPP projects, roads and bridge, community buildings, this ratio will continue to grow to more than 100 percent in the next 2 years. Additionally, the annual interest payments of more than Awg 200 million are a huge burden on the island. Over the years, GOA has always covered its growing obligations with tax increases. But that measure reached its limits. The purchasing power of the population has been affected to such an extent that it has major consequences for the economy. The question therefore is what course of action should be taken from now on.
In Aruba’s short history, solutions to existing problems were always sought in corresponding situations without addressing the real causes. The problems therefore got further and further out of control. That is why SDBA will focus the attention of the community in the coming months on the most important bottlenecks that stand in the way of a healthy and sustainable Aruba. To this end, investigations will be carried out in the area of Human Resources, Financial Management, Transparency, Parliament’s Functioning, Socio-Economic Policy and Integrity. Points for improvement will be indicated. These research reports should serve as a basis of making the community more aware of the need to remove the bottlenecks. In cooperation with social partners and social groups, an attempt is hereby made to convince politicians to work on these different problematic areas according to standards of good governance.
The investigative reports also serve as the basis for possible legal action to protect the public interest against political bias. With increased globalization and the rise in numbers of conscious citizens who want to contribute to the improvement of the world community, SDBA hopes that mounting pressure from Arubans and international sources, will improve Aruba’s political climate and the administration will soon be adopt a better modus operadi in the interest of the entire community.
The following are the reports available on the website: http://deugdelijkbestuuraruba.org/ons-onderzoek/
- Good governance & the political reality (2001)
2. 25 years Status Separate. A political paradise (2011)
3. Towards a rational personnel policy (2016)
3.1 Abstract Personnel Policy Report
4. To sound public financial management in Aruba (2017)
4.1 Points for attention Report Financial Management Aruba
4.2 Abstract Financial Management Report
5. Towards transparent public administration in Aruba (2017)
6. Towards a properly functioning parliamentary representation (2017)
7. Recommendations from SDBA:
7.1 To improve the personnel policy of the government in Aruba
7.2 To improve financial management in Aruba
7.3 To improve transparency in the government policy of Aruba
7.4 To improve parliamentary functioning in Aruba
7.8 To improve Kingdom relations
7.9 For the designation of infrastructure project
8. Towards a sustainable socio-economic policy in Aruba