The government has come under heavy criticism over the concession contract for the San José-San Ramón road, that in the words of Ministerio de Obras Publicas y Transportes (MOPT) minister Pedro Castro, only 2.7 kilometres will be new.
Minister Castro has been on the hot seat since Monday, as opponents to concession awarded to the Brazilian company, OAS, fire
allegations of embezzlement, breach of duty, illicit enrichment and conspiracy at the minister and a call on the Ministerio Público (Fiscalía) – Public Prosecutor – to investigate.
For his part, Castro says, “if the award has an error it will be revised”. Questioned on his having worked for the OAS, Castro said that when he entered the ministry it was decided jointly with President Chinchilla, that he would not participate in any activities related to the OAS contract as the meetings of the CNC.
Castro came under questioning on Tuesday by Libertarian legislator, Patricia Pérez, who had called Castro and the technical secretary of the National Concessions Council (CNC), Edwin Rodriguez, to appear before the Committee on Revenue and Expenditures Perez chairs in the Legislature.
Distancing herself from the allegations, Presidenta Laura Chinchilla, said the government has been objecting to the methodology used by the Comptroller General of the Republic (CGR) to establish reporting, because the comptroller uses “rather outdated” information.
This is not the first time the MOPT and its ministers, vice-ministers and high-ranking officials have been accused of wrong doings. For most, the MOPT is one of the most corrupt branches of the government and accused of waste and squandering public resources and pilfering by its managers.