SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The General Audit Chamber (GAC) submitted its report entitled “Efficient collection of Government claims” to Parliament today. The report addresses findings and conclusions resulting from an audit of the collection efficiency of Government receivables.
Based on their findings, the General Audit Chamber concludes that Government’s claims 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 size of the uncollected claims.
The cause is primarily found in outdated automated systems, databases that are not linked, and the enormous case load carried by the collection agents.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: collecting money.
The Tax Transformation Plan of the Minister of Finance provides for the elimination of these bottlenecks. At the time of the audit, the plan was not publicly available.
The General Audit Chamber believes that a number of ‘quick wins’ are possible. For example, linking databases of the Census and/or the Chamber of Commerce. In the opinion of the General Audit Chamber, these quick wins do not have to cost a lot of money nor take much time but can improve the efficiency of the work of the collecting agent and bailiffs; consequently, 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 website of the General Audit Chamber (www.arsxm.org).