Over 50% of staff in the Ministry of Environment and Public Space in the City of Buenos Aires did not submit their affidavits although they were "forced" to do so by a local rule. This was exposed by the Auditor General of the City of Buenos Aires (AGCBA, for its acronym in Spanish) in a report approved this year on 2009 data.
When auditors began with field work, in order to verify compliance with the submission of affidavits of the various members of the Ministry, they found that the lists they received from the Secretariat for Human Resource Management, the General Clerk of the City, and the same Ministry of Environment themselves were "incomplete and did not match the records."
They also stressed that "the lack of a single, comprehensive list of the authorities’ affidavits", cause "difficulty controlling compliance." In fact, according to the Ministry of Environment, the officials required to file statements were 105, while according to the Secretariat for Human Resource Management it was supposed to be 181.
The auditors had to work with "integration and debugging" to really know how many members of the Ministry were required to file their financial disclosures. The result obtained was 126 AGCBA officials.
Of these employees, the audit noted that "67 agents have failed to comply with the submission of affidavits", representing 52.2%. In this regard, the watchdog said that there was a "high level of non-compliance."
In terms of injunctions and penalties on offenders, the AGCBA notes that "the legislation during the audit period - 2009 – had no specific sanctions for officials defaults (SIC)" and completed by saying "this allows a staff member to cease office without having filed the affidavits or assume without filing another in his new role."
While Decree 1381/GCBA/04 regulated the situation of the affidavits, in 2009 it was replaced by another Decree 450/10, the new legislation remains inadequate, mainly because it doesn’t specify "any penalty" for those who do not conform to the stipulations. However, it is important to mention that it is not the first time the AGCBA mentions "the need to establish specific penalties for default officials."
Files and Archives
The AGCBA found that the computer program used for recording affidavits does "not work properly" because it does not record the date the documentation was filed, but the upload of the documents in the system.
The documentation is stored in stacked boxes that have "no logical order." Given the lack of space in the file to conserve the affidavits, which must remain available for ten years, auditors found that "a large volume of boxes for the years 2005, 2006, and 2007 are in different offices”.
Finally, the audit notes that on the affidavits care, conservation, and documentation there are shortcomings that had been identified and developed in other reports of various agencies of the City Government.