BURNS MY ASS: Despite promises of transparency, Varela remains mum on discretionary spending.
- By : Panama Now
- Category : "JB"
by James “JB” Bryson
Every now and again, I find myself being a bit above the bell curve in doing my posts. (Its does not happen often, as I am not Woodward and Bernstein). But attached link:
Is a PNO.com post that we put up months ago during the World Cup, as Varela was literally in a different country almost every other day. This spending is something that was promised to be curtailed upon during his run for presidency, as it was something he used against Martinelli every opportunity he had as to separate himself from his former Superior. One in which we are not fooled he was aware, if not involved, with every crime the former is being accused of. Varela was “not” going to use the office to further personal goals, but in fact, it could be argued that NO OTHER president has used the post to become more of a “rock star”, than the current one in office.
Which brings us to the “transparency”. One that Comptroller Humbert has been all to keen to investigate within the cabinet and National Assembly office. The accounting of the Discretionary Spending has been requested and up to the posting of this article, NOT provided by the office of the President.
Although in campaign President Juan Carlos Varela promised to ensure transparency and accountability to reach the government, the Ministry of the Presidency has 78 days (two months and a half) in default with the publication of the expenses of departure discretionary corresponding to the July-September 2018 quarter.
This, despite the fact that there are only 15 days until the deadline to publicize what they invested in this line in the period between October and December of last year.
Consulted on the subject, the secretary of communication of the State, Carlos Estrada, said that they accept to be in delay with the publication, but that “before passed the quinquennium and it was not published”. He added that the publication is “another legacy of transparency of our administration”.
For his part, the Minister of the Presidency, Jorge González , said that the information of the expenses of the discretionary game is under review and possibly this week the details of the remaining six months will be published.
This media requested Angelica Maytin , director of the National Authority of Transparency and Access to Information (Antai), to refer to the implications of the delay. Maytin attributes the delay to the fact that in the last seven months there have been three different ministers of the Presidency. He explained that these movements not only imply the minister’s rotation, but include changes in the key personnel to deal with those issues.
He added that after several trainings, the Ministry of the Presidency has a perfect score in the monitoring carried out by the Antai on compliance with Law 6 on transparency. “We should not lower our standards in the remaining months to conclude this period of government,” said Maytin.
Since taking office on July 1, 2014, Varela has disbursed $ 39.7 million discretionally through these items.
Although all payments are endorsed by the Comptroller of the Republic, there are no parameters on the fate that can be given to these public funds.