The Maintenance of the Storm water Network of Buenos Aires changed director seven times since it was created in April 2006 through the end of a report by the Buenos Aires General Audit (AGCBA, for its acronym in Spanish), approved at the end of the year last.
According to the Watchdog, none of the officials in office lasted more than 10 months. In fact, while the investigation was conducted, the then director resigned after spending just six months and 17 days at the head of the agency that monitors the status of sinks and operates under the aegis of the Ministry of Public Space.
With regard to the work of the Directorate, the AGCBA noted that the methodology to verify drains is "ineffective" and missing elements to perform the work properly. The Watchdog accompanied verifiers of the directorate and found that they make their journeys alone, with no partner, "making it difficult to survey the state of sinks in cases where the vehicle cannot be stopped for lack of a place to park This situation occurred repeatedly, "narrated the report, adding that there were" episodes in which transit cranes, working in the service of the Government of the City, took the vehicles.”
Also, the "lack of blueprints of the basins" in the routes surveyed, caused agents to skip drains detected. They also don’t have a list of the works carried out by contractors "to cross with the maintenance status" of storm drains, the auditors explained.
However, experienced on the "many sinks in poor maintenance and other shortcomings (like) obstructions that appear to have long time of existence by being materialized by mud hardened, missing cap inspection danger to pedestrians, they found flooded sinks and sewage odors."
The City Watchdog also verified the "lack of communication and direct coordination" between the Directorates of the Storm Drains and Engineering Works, under the Ministry of Urban Development who also builds new drains. Other areas of this portfolio, dependent in this case on the Secretariat of Project Planning, Architecture and Infrastructure, "also built in the city basins without a proper communication to the Directorate" says research and exemplifies: "On the occasion of the visit by the audit team accompanying the verification path, two basins were built by another body was found and the Directorate had not registered."
On the side of the contractors, the AGCBA said all "unclogging trucks have less than those required in the tender specifications."
To check the status of storm drains, there are Geographic Information Systems (GIS) that "are not fully functional, homogeneous and accessible to five years into the contract," said the audit. It is that, according to the work history information of each drain "it is not reliable; clogged basins fully met but that appeared in the GIS and were cleaned during normal operation and maintenance." But there's more, "there is no single GIS system," but every company proposed its own, which are different in configuration, access mode and exposure information. For this incompatibility, the AGCBA concluded that jeopardizes the eventual incorporation of systems to a general contractor of the water network GIS City.
Despite these and other "irregularities that have deserved punishment," the Watchdog found that the Department of Buenos Aires Storm Networks did not penalize companies whose contracts were to end in June 2008 but was extended to May 31 of this year.
Until December 2008, the City had 27,534 intricate basins, nearly 1,200 kilometers spread across the territory, pumping stations and canals lakes regulators. That's the universe that must control the Directorate General of Buenos Aires Storm Network.