(QCOSTARICA) For the fourth time the office of the Comptroller General has returned without having approved the contract for the construction of the new national convention centre (centro nacional de congresos in Spanish) to be located near the Plaza Cariari mall, in Heredia, fronting on the autopista General Cañas.
The construction company Edica in May was awarded for US$38.6 million.
This time the Contraloría General de la República(CGR) has requested the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) – tourism board – provide a better justification for the use of the US$7.72 million from the US$15 tax charged to tourists entering the country.
The tax is included in the price of the ticket, created with the specific purpose of financing the promotion of Costa Rica to foreign markets.
In the report by La Nacion, “the Comptroller also insists on hearing the ICT ‘s explanation of why the US$45 million surplus that the Institute has is not being used to fund the work.”
Gustavo Araya, president of the Costa Rican Chamber of Hotels (CCH) and vice president of the National Chamber of Tourism (Canatur), said it is urgent to start the construction work of the convention centre.
Meanwhile, the minister of Tourism, Mauricio Ventura, once again says it is normal for the Comptroller requesting additional information about contracts.
The start of construction of the convention centre project was to have taken place last July. Minister Ventura now says that the start will occur when the Comptroller has issued a final endorsement of the contract.