Mazón does not rule out reorganizing or eliminating more agencies created by the Botanic, which he accuses of firing the workforce without control
VALENCIA, 16 Jan. (EUROPA PRESS) -
The 'president' of the Generalitat, Carlos Mazón, announced this Tuesday a general audit of the instrumental public sector of the Valencian administration after having detected contracting irregularities by the previous Botànic government, in addition to the elimination of six "ghost companies" with duplicate functions.
"We are facing a bottomless pit of contracting by hand, an open bar that the Botànic opened," stated Mazón after revealing that the Intervention of the Generalitat estimates a total of 253,122 contracts awarded "by hand" for an amount of 713 million euros in the last four years: 554 million in expenses acquired without processing a contract file and 159 million in minor contracts.
Faced with this situation, the 'president' has appeared at the Palau de la Generalitat to announce that he will commission a general audit of the public sector during 2024. It will have two pillars of action: a 'forensic' audit to know "where each euro has gone", which will be carried out by "the best professionals", and an operational audit starting in the first quarter of this year to reveal "duplicities, inefficiencies and the direction of the group of entities".
Along with this audit, Mazón has announced that the start of the file will soon be approved to bring to Les Corts a bill to eliminate six "ghost companies" created in the last legislature that "the Botànic was unable to put into operation" and that "they all perform functions that some general direction" of the Generalitat is already providing.
Specifically, it is the Valencian Energy Agency, "whose functions are already carried out by the General Directorate of Energy of IVACE"; the Agency for Digitalization and Cybersecurity, "work carried out by the general directorate of ICT"; the Valencian Agency for Food Information and Control, "which is already carried out by the general directorates of Industry and Agri-Food Chain and Agricultural and Livestock Production"; the Valencian Waste and Circular Economy Agency, "whose function is carried out by the public company VAERSA"; the Valencian Climate Change Agency, "work already carried out by the general direction of Quality and Environmental Education", and the Valencian School of Public Administration "which develops the general direction of Public Function".
"NON-POLITICAL" STAFF WILL GO TO GENERAL DIRECTORATES
In any case, the head of the Consell has assured that the "non-political" staff assigned to these agencies is "very small" and will be incorporated into the corresponding general directorates. "There is nothing to fear for any job, unless they have committed some irregularity," he stressed.
In addition, he has advanced that he does not rule out reorganizing or eliminating more public sector entities based on the audit, as well as that it will be analyzed whether administrative or "even criminal" irregularities have been incurred, although he did not want to anticipate the conclusions: "If The legal services of the Generalitat see some type of irresponsibility, we will transfer it to the court, logically."
"WASTAGE AND A LOT OF OCCULTISM"
Mazón has defended that the audit is necessary in the face of technical reports, "not political ones", which certify the "critical" situation of "waste and lack of control" and "a lot of occultism" in all companies, entities and public organizations. "Invoices in drawers, hand-picked contracts, unauthorized personnel, uncontrolled expenses, bank invoices without owners and the largest number of companies and entities in our history," she pointed out.
In fact, he explained that the reports of the Comptes Sindicatura and the Intervention of the Generalitat show that "the government of PSPV, Compromís and Podemos dedicated itself to spending without control on aspects of dubious legality." In figures, he has indicated that only four of the 54 public sector entities have received a positive assessment in these reports, meaning that "92% do not carry out public procurement procedures in accordance with the law."
"But the story does not end here, because in terms of personnel, the Intervention of the Generalitat certifies that in the 2021 financial year alone there have been more than 4,000 hiring of personnel that were not authorized by the general directorate of budgets," he stressed, and has given as an example that "the SGISE (Valencian Society for Comprehensive Management of Emergency Services), controlled by the PSPV, tried to sneak 1,800 new public jobs at the gates of 28M" although "this operation remained tentative" .
Other data that Mazón has presented are that the public sector workforce increased by 35% during the Botànic or that the expenditure on personnel of these companies "skyrocketed by 47%" from 400 million euros in 2015 to almost 600 million, "and all this in many cases without the authorization of the Budget Directorate."
In the treasury area, he has warned that "the lack of control is evident" as a "high risk" in payment controls was detected in 22 of the 48 entities subject to this type of verification, "with payments being made without the authorization of the corresponding person." or even payments to bank accounts not properly identified. "Did the Botànic know who he was transferring transfers to?" she asked herself.
For all this, the 'president' explained that he requested an urgent report from the general directorate of the Public Sector, a report that reveals that there are six entities created by the Botànic with "a clear conflict of duplicity that would give rise to more directors or managers hand-picked to perform the same task" and which are the ones that will be eliminated.
DOES NOT PROVIDE FOR NEW PUBLIC COMPANIES
Looking to the future, asked about the possibility of creating a public company, Mazón has once again defended the need for the results of the audit, which he expects by the end of the year, although he has confirmed that "it is not on the table."
During his speech he emphasized the need to optimize the public sector and "tell the truth to citizens", in addition to alluding to the situation "at historic highs" of the public debt of the Valencian Community. "The era of accumulating public companies to pay favors and execute massive plugs is over," he stressed.
THE CONSELL WORKS ON THE TENDER
For her part, the spokesperson for the Consell and Minister of Finance, Ruth Merino, explained that the audit of the public sector of the Generalitat will be carried out through "an external tender" whose specifications are being prepared, so she has not been able to figure out what it will be. its cost.
At a press conference after the plenary session of the Consell, asked if the Generalitat does not have the means for the audit, Merino highlighted that they have "means, data, people and areas that work in these areas", but he defended the need to "an external, specific and specialized analysis of what has happened in recent years."
"It cannot be carried out from within," he maintained, and has guaranteed that the external audit will serve to obtain more appropriate and objective conclusions. In addition, she has indicated that it is not planned to assign personnel from the General Directorate of the Public Sector.