Since the ruling of the national Supreme Court that urged three governments to clean up the Riachuelo, the National Audit Office (AGN, for its acronym in Spanish) made four special reports on the allocation and execution of funds for environmental programs, plus an extension of data on request Of justice. And despite the time elapsed, research shows recurrent observations regarding the administration of resources, such as under-execution of items, shortcomings in contracting processes, and weaknesses in control.

The decision of the highest court was known on July 8th 2008. That ruling ordered the National, City and Province of Buenos Aires to initiate measures to remedy the situation of one of the most Contaminated by the work of a tripartite entity, the Matanza-Riachuelo Watershed Authority (ACUMAR, for its acronym in Spanish).
Chapter One

The first of the AGN reports was approved in March 2009 and analyzed the budget execution of ACUMAR during the financial year 2007, until September 30th 2008. One of the difficulties faced by the control body during its analysis, which also repeated in the second report, was that in those days the Authority did not have its own Financial Administrative Service (SAF), an area that had to be conformed in September 2007, which means that both that year and 2008, which received the budget to clean up the Riachuelo was the Secretariat of Environment and Sustainable Development, which transferred the items to the tripartite body. The ACUMAR SAF became operational only in April 2009.

Among the programs of the Authority stands out 33, Integral Cuenca Matanza Riachuelo, which in 2007 saw its departure reduced by $100,297,238, 22% of the total. In spite of the cut, the execution of the initiative was 31%, $11.2 million, on a credit of $36.2 million.

Program 34, Environmental Management Matanza Riachuelo IDB 1059 / AC-AR, was not much better. The initiative, financed by the Inter-American Development Bank, registered an execution of 20.8% in 2007, $14.5 million out of almost $ 70 million.

In total, in 2007, ACUMAR had a credit of $ 106.5 million, of which it accounted for $26.1 million, 24.5%. While, up to September 30 of the following year, $18 million was accrued on a total credit of $150.8 million, almost 12%.

There was another limitation in the investigation: AGN did not receive all of the information - which it requested three times - about $15,148,228.

In the first two reports, weaknesses in internal control were also observed in the process of contracting works, deficiencies in the assembly and compilation of incorrectly imputed records and expenses. For example, in 2007, ACUMAR reported expenditures of program 33 for $5.2 million, although the AGN was able to verify only $ 1.1 million; and a year later, the reported amount was almost $1.4 million, but the control body could not verify that a single peso was spent.

For the same Program 33 they contracted the provision of water for the Villa Flammable to the company Aguas Danone Argentina for amounts of $ 684 thousand in 2007 and $463 thousand in 2008. Both operations were carried out by means of the legitimate modality and, for the amounts in games; the AGN said that a regular contracting should have been used.

In addition, for the AGN there was another direct contracting which, for what was paid, should also have gone through a public bidding process. This was the cleaning and maintenance service of the Río Matanza Riachuelo Water Mirror, which cost $2,170,014. In this case, the company in question was Rowing S.A.

Likewise, the reports highlighted delays in bidding processes and award of contracts. Thus it happened with the construction of complementary works of the system of drainage networks in La Matanza, for $41 million. The inspection body detected that, from the opening of the first envelope to the beginning of the work, they spent a year and nine months.

Chapter Two

The second report analyzed the implementation of the budget from October 1st 2008 to December 31st of the same year.

In the period audited, the ACUMAR had a line of $146.3 million, which accounted for $68.3 million, 46.7%. But the execution of the full period reached 70.9%: $103.8 million out of a total of $150.8 million.

Chapter Three, Justice and Final

The AGN's third report, meanwhile, covered the performance of the first half of 2009. Between January 1st and June 30th of that year, equivalent to 50% of the year, the Basin Authority accrued on 36 , 9% of its credit, $69.2 million over $187.5 million.

During the period, there were delays in the allocation of commitment fees, i.e. AUCMAR had the money but was not allowed to spend it. The situation caused delays in the execution of expenses and payments. Nor did it reserve the necessary budget for the contracts that had been formalized in previous years.

With respect to the IDB loan, 38.8% of the item was executed in the first half of 2009, and more than $61 million dollars were still pending.

After this work, the Federal Court of First Instance of Quilmes asked the AGN to expand the data contained in the investigation. Thus, the scope of programs 38, Integral Cuenca Matanza Riachuelo; And 39, Environmental Management IDB, and compared the financial execution data - which came from the certificates of work accrued - with the information provided by ACUMAR itself regarding the physical progress of the ventures. Specifically, the Audit noted that the work of Sanitation of the Basin-Baseless to Open Sky registered a physical execution that was not "harmonious" with the movement of the budget: is that the project had advanced 14% over financial execution.

Between the third and fourth report there was an increase in ACUMAR's share of 45%. The money came from National Treasury Contributions, because the agency had to pay expenses for works that were already in execution but had not been properly budgeted.

In the fourth report, the AGN reviewed the second half of 2009 (reported separately).

As a recurring observation in the investigations, it is highlighted that the Basin Authority did not implement the environmental compensation fund, which was provided for in Law 26,168 of 2006. The money was to be managed by ACUMAR and would be aimed primarily at the protection of rights Human rights of those affected by pollution, and to the mitigation and recomposition of environmental damage.

The monitoring body is currently carrying out a fifth report on the implementation of the first half of 2010.