Spanish version

GOVERNMENT

Comptroller disbands special unit

Federico Humbert said the department was used to approve questionable contracts issued by the former government

 

Spanish version

Temas:

Comptroller Federico Humbert said that he has disbanded the Central Financing Unit created by his predecessor, Gioconda Torres de Bianchini, specifically to approve controversial contracts issued by the previous government.

According to Humbert, that unit did not have a legal basis to exist.

"Its work was repetitive," he said, adding that it did not appear in the agency's organizational chart.

He also criticized the unit for overturning decisions made by other departments within the agency, giving approval to contracts which were previously rejected. 

The manager of the unit was Roger Cerrud, who was a 25-year employee in the office. He joined the ruling CD party in 2010, a year after it assumed power. Another high official in the unit was Margot Fuentes, considered to be the "right hand" of Torres de Bianchini. Both officials have since left the agency.

"There was a very large administrative price," Humbert said. "It was as if there were two institutions."

Since taking office, Humbert has created a new unit of his own, one to handle forensic audits of contracts approved by the previous administration. The purpose of the unit is to root out corruption within the government. The unit has assisted with criminal investigations into a number of officials, including suspended Supreme Court Justice Alejandro Moncada Luna who pleaded guilty to unjustified enrichment this week.

As part of the plea deal, the suspended judge has agreed to forfeit millions of dollars uncovered by the forensic audit of his finances. 

"An audit tells you how the money was spent," Humbert said. "However, a forensic audit goes beyond that. It follows the money to the end user."

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