The Aruban Quality Governance Foundation (AQGF) wants to give general information according to the principles as declared amongst others in Rapport Calidad. This is necessary because soon after the start of Status Aparte the Aruban Government did not take the standard of sound governance seriously. This turned out to be disastrous for Aruba.
In recent decades Aruba’s own advice and supervising authorities like Social Economic Counsil, Advising Counsil, the General Audit Office, several officially established committees and international advising bodies like the rating offices and IMF have produced all kinds of reports with recommendations for Aruba. Most of them were aimed at the reduction of the country’s biggest expense namely the amount of civil servants and also at improving its financial management. Nearly all advices have systematically been ignored by subsequent governments. This is the reason why public finances are in an abominable state right now. This affects all realms of management.
Government initiatives, the granting of subsidies even the usual obligations are gradually fulfilled more labouriously, for ‘lack of money’.
Meanwhile Aruba’s national debt of more than four billion Aruban florins is practically prohibitive. Nowadays the relation between debt and GDP amounts to more than 80%. Together with future payment obligations for the benefit of the PPP- projects this relation will develop into more than 100% within two years. However, the payments of interest of more than two hundred million Aruban Florins a year are also a huge burden for Aruba. Through the years the Aruban Government has compensated for its increasing obligations by means of higher taxes. This means has since reached its limit. The community’s buying power has been harmed in such a way that this has caused serious consequences for the economy. So it is understandable that the question is: which course to follow now.
In similar situations during Aruba’s history solutions for current issues were always searched without tackling their causes. Thus, the problems were gradually getting further out of hand. This is why AQGF draws the community’s attention to the major bottlenecks which obstruct a healthy and sustainable Aruba. To this end reports will be drawn up concerning Personnel Management, Financial Administration, Transparency, Performance of Parliament, Social-Economic Policy, and Integrity in the coming two years. Matters of improvement will be indicated as well. These research reports will serve as a base to raise awareness within the community of the necessity to get rid of the investigated bottlenecks. Consequently, together with the social partners and social factions AQGF will try to convince politics to operate in the different areas according to the standard of a reliable management.
These research reports will also serve as a base for potential judicial steps to protect general interest from party politics’ interest. With the increasing globalisation and the rise of citizens becoming more involved by the day and who want to contribute to the improvement of the world economy AQGF hopes that because of the growing pressure from the Aruban and international community both Aruban politics and the government will change its way of dealing and will improve itself in quality for the sake of the Aruban community before long.