PHILIPSBURG–The General Audit Chamber submitted its report entitled “Efficient collection of Government claims” to Parliament on Friday.
The report addresses findings and conclusions resulting from an audit of the efficiency of collecting government receivables.
Based on its findings, the General Audit Chamber concludes that government’s receivables are not being collected efficiently. The amount in outstanding revenue is unknown because the account receivable administration (the bookkeeping) is seriously contaminated, and it is not possible to realistically estimate the amount of the uncollected receivables.
The cause is primarily found in outdated automated systems, databases that are not linked, and the enormous case load carried by the collection agents. This has led to the Receiver’s Office being unable to devote sufficient time to its core task of collecting money, it was stated in a press release.
The Minister of Finance’s Tax Transformation Plan provides for the elimination of these bottlenecks. At the time of the audit, the plan was not publicly available, the release said.
The General Audit Chamber believes that a number of “quick wins” are possible; for example, linking databases of the Census Office and/or the St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In the Audit Chamber’s opinion, these quick wins do not have to cost a lot of money or take much time, but can improve the efficiency of the work of the collecting agent and bailiffs, leading to a more efficient claim collection and ultimately increasing Government revenue.
The report is published in both English and Dutch and is available on the General Audit Chamber’s website