QCOSTARICA – On Monday, the new minister of the Ministerio de Obras Publicas y Transportes (MOPT), Luis Amador, will be presenting to President Rodrigo Chaves the bill that seeks to restructure the institution.
This Wednesday, Amador guaranteed that this initiative is being prepared by the Ministry of Planning and Economic Policy (MIDEPLAN) and explained that a proper restructuring could take up to a year.
The minister assured that this restructuring does not imply layoffs of civil servants. Likewise, he indicated that he is on the path of generating efficiency on the part of the decentralized bodies: the Consejo de Seguridad Vial (COSEVI) -Road Safety Council, Consejo Nacional de Vialidad (CONAVI) – National Roads Council, Consejo de Transporte Público (CTP) -Public Transport Council, Consejo Nacional de Concesiones (CNC) – National Concessions Council and Consejo Técnico de Aviación Civil (CTAC) -Civil Aviation Technical Council.
According to the Minister of MOPT, 75% of the content of this bill was prepared by this government, the rest corresponds to projects of past administrations.
It is important to note that the restructuring of the MOPT had been announced by the incoming minister of the past three consecutive governments, in 2010, 2014, and 2018. In each case, the ministers of the governments Laura Chinchilla, Luis Guillermo Solis and Carlos Alvarado, respectively, were not able to complete the task.
One of the factors for the failure is corruption within the institution. A point in case is the “Cochinilla Case”, that uncovered a network of corruption in public works contracts and resulting in the arrest last year of more than thirty MOPT functionaries and the owners of two of the country’s top roads constructions companies.
On Sunday, May 8, on his first day on the job as minister, Amador, who left his job the Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, where he worked as a university professor and researcher and also as a consultant for a company that provides services to the Qatari government, to take on the task at hand, said ‘corruption (in the MOPT) must be uprooted’.
According to an interview in La Nacion, Amador dreams of promoting comprehensive public transport, recognizes the urgency of attending bridges and says that he will try to solve the problem of transport technology platforms (ie Uber, DiDi) that operate illegally.
In Wednesday’s press conference, Amador said: “We are in a political situation and corruption cases, there is a great need to change things.”