Consultants were overpaid
PANAMA. The millionaire payments that the State made to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) for advisory services has provoke...
PANAMA. The millionaire payments that the State made to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) for advisory services has provoked the Finance and Economy Ministry to call the representatives of that international organization to a meeting to explain just who the advisors are and why they are receiving so much money.
The Minister of Economy and Finance, Alberto Vallarino, said that the past administration abused the system by hiring too many UNDP consultants, some of whom received salaries higher than that of the President of the Republic and his ministers. Some advisors have two contracts, one as civil servants and a second as consultants, in what is was an abuse of the system by a group of civil servants.
Meanwhile, during the second meeting of the National Economic Council (CENA), the approval of $72 million in additional credits was postponed due to lack of information and inconsistencies, particularly regarding additional payments to the National Institute of Human Development (INADEH) and other government institutions.
Vallarino is carefully studying and analyzing all the debts the government has with international organizations and private companies.
One of Vallarino’s main goals is to find ways to save money and, at the same time, to generate enough income to allow the Martinelli administration to carry out social interest programs.
The Economy minister is also looking at concessions contracts to make sure that entrepreneurs and companies are paying the money they owe to the state.
The first target of the Ministry of Finance has been the concessions in Amador where, for several years, companies have neglected to pay towards the use of that land.
According to Vallarino, there are inconsistencies in the contracts and money wastage in different areas of the government.
Just two weeks into the Martinelli administration, Vallarino is attempting to clarify the government’s assets and to streamline finances.
The UNDP consultant scandal is the second inconsistency that he has discovered so far. He will probably find more as he begins to understand how the Ministry of Economy and Finance works.