COSTA RICA NEWS – President Luis Guillermo Solis’s long awaited 100 days report, also dubbed the address to the nation, is sure to keep dozens of prosecutors and the whole of the OIJ investigative agency busy–for a hundred years, if it were not for the statute of limitations. The President Thursday at the Teatro Melico Salazar unrolled 14 possible criminal charges.
These charges run from the 117 vehicles assigned to the Ministry of the Presidency that appear to have slipped through the uncertain fingers of the past administrations to the Education Ministry where advisors double their salaries with overtime charges despite not punching a clock.
1. There is no record of the 117 vehicles and no one has the faintest idea where they are.
2.The Pacific Port Authority (Incop) spends 2.4 million colones monthly on a beach house for discretional use by its president. Moreover, Incop spends 60 million to rent a building where only four persons work.
3. The National Power and Light Company, a subsidiary of ICE, the government owned electic company, has a number of departments with a chief, but no underlings and no duties assigned to them.
4. The Education Ministry pays through the nose for advisors’ overtime without requiring them to punch a timeclock
5. The Ministries of Public Works, Agriculture and the Presidency have paid abusive overtime.
6. The Labor Ministry is paying pensions to dead workers while 11,000 re-evaluations of pensions have piled up. Some cases date back to 1996 and the cost of going through them is estimated at 65 billion colones.
7. The Security Ministry owes thousands of police overtime for working holidays and some of these claims go back to 1976.
8. In the final days of the Chinchilla Administration, the Ministry of Housing, the Justice Ministry and National Women’s Institute signed five year contracts to lease luxurious buildings with at disadvantagious conditions for the State.
9. More than 20% of the funds for improvement of the poor went into the hands of high income persons. The happened with Avancamos, Fonabe (See Scholarship Program Victim of Greed), Social Security benefits for those who paid nothing into the fund.
10. The Chief Executive charges that at Incofer, the nationalized railroad, the Chinchilla Administration had a “derailment fund” that was not audited, or had a fixed budget or was even audited externally. (Derailed executives?)
11. INVU, the poverty housing administration, was itself a bureaurcratic train wreck. “Not even the phones work there.” It has debts of 10 billion colones dating back 27 years!
12. The National Production Council (CNP) diverted funds supposedly destined for payment to small and medium producers and now owe their own employees 2 billion colones.
13. RACSA, the subsidiary (Internet communications) of ICE is kept alive by its parent company despite having losses of 85% in 2012-13
(There are 17, counting the different agencies incriminated but, taking La Nacion’s lead, we have combined them to shorten this report. We thank that paper for the hint because, if you pay taxes in this country, it is sickening enough to read in abreviated form.)
The Minister of Presidency’s legal director Marvin Carvajal, by the way, does not believe that the vehicles that vanished into thin air were stolen but are either junked or at other agencies. But it is impossible to tell because their whereabouts were never recorded.
Some, undoubtedly, were given an honorable retirement due to their age. One he ran across was a 1967 Cadillac and others were almost as old. Some, indeed, have not paid a circulation permit (marchamos) in 21 years. The record keeping was wretched and a car by car search is needed, he added.
The count also includes motorcycles as well. Former Minister of the Presidency Carlos Ricardo Benavides under ex-Pesident Chinchilla denied the vehicles were stolen. They were, Benavides added, bought in previous administrations and probably went to dependencies of the Ministry such as the DIS investigative agency.
The current president of the Pacific Port Authority, Jorge Luis Loria, backs up the President’s charge about the luxurious house set aside for the Incop chief. He said when he was told about the house and its pool, and sumptuous view of Caldera Bay, he asked who used it. “They told me the president (of Incop.)”
The Prosecutor’s office announced its intention of investigating all the accusations in the President’s speech. All in all, it was a most unusual report for a President to make and probably the first of its kind ever in the history of this country.
Article by iNews.co.cr, with editing by the Q, reposted with permission