QCOSTARICA – The Ministro de Obras Públicas y Transportes (Minister of Public Works and Transportation), Luis Amador, delivered on Monday to the Legislative Assembly the bill called “Strengthening of powers and accountability of the MOPT”, which has among its main considerations the closure of four of the decentralized councils.
Saving resources, making decision-making more efficient and making the public function transparent, by centralizing all the work in the MOPT, but without laying off personnel, is the objective of the new minister.
Amador, who attended Congress accompanied by the Minister of the Presidency, Natalia Díaz, explained that the initiative proposes to eliminate the boards of directors of the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad (Conavi) – National Highway Council, the Consejo de Seguridad Vial (Cosevi) – Road Safety Council, the Consejo Nacional de Concesiones (CNC) -National Council of Concessions and the Consejo de Transporte Público (CTP) -Public Transport Council.
In the case of Conavi, this would become a Road Division (División de Vialidad), which will be in charge of the construction and maintenance of national roads and would operate from within the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes (MOPT) – Ministry of Public Works and Transportation.
“The idea is that the boards of directors disappear and that they (the councils) return to the rectory of the Ministry, then there we would be a figure the Roads Division, to see if we can reunify with the MOPT.
“What is sought is to make more efficient the way in which we as the governing body can carry out the different tasks (…) the bill seeks to eliminate some obstacles that the ministry and its bodies have, return that stewardship to the minister and generate some level of planning mechanisms that consider the best international practices,” explained Amador.
The minister also announced that the Civil Aviation Directorate “is a more complicated” matter and would not be touched.
Regarding the new Roads division, the Minister stressed that it would focus on conservation and that the new work should be in charge of the MOPT, for which it would go to other entities on quality control issues.
“If as MOPT we are the ones who do the design, we should continue with the control part, we can have agreements with other entities in which we all help each other, but it should be separate”, he explained.
Among the justifications that Amador gave for the elimination of the boards of directors of the four councils, he highlighted the fact that many of the members that make up the boards of those councils are not technical or are not steeped in the issues that are addressed there, which slows down the decision process.
He also made reference to the duplication of functions, for example in the care of bridges, about which he recalled that there are units for the care of these structures in the MOPT and also in Conavi, and in many cases they do not even communicate with each other.
Important to note here, that the past three consecutive governments (12 years) have all attempted to reform the MOPT. All have failed.