An area of the city government has only 20 lawyers to address some 2,923 cases. It is the Department of Estates Vacancies and, according to a study of the Auditor General of the City of Buenos Aires (AGCBA, for its acronym in Spanish), the "excessive work load" of lawyers causes delays in the procedural steps, increase in maintenance costs of real estate "and increase of intruders.”

While the Watchdog did not receive accurate information on how many cases the lawyers lead. It managed to calculate "an average of 148 cases each." Against this background, the report noted that "the lack of administrative support staff and the complexity (of the trials), reduce the efficiency of the professional work of the lawyers, and the structure (Inheritance Department Vacancies) is insufficient."

And in the department, 20 professionals are accompanied by a head of department, a division chief and team leader: "this results in poor internal control that does not include adequate monitoring,” the AGCBA completed.

For its work, approved this year, the audit took a sample of 68 files of total active cases between January and December 2008. As an example of the delays in the causes, the report points out that "10.29% (in selected cases) are in a freeze and 19.11% have been in a freeze."

In addition, during the audit period, only three causes of the exhibition "concluded by resolution or disposition of property involved in a vacant heritage." The AGCBA noted that these records delayed an average of 100.24 months, about eight years and three months.

The properties that become vacant inheritances may be declared of public utility, joining the Buenos Aires heritage or alienated by the City Bank. The audit found that in 14.81% of their sample "possession of property declared of public interest was taken in an average of 34.15 months (almost three years) time" and that this "led to a loss given the excessive cost bearing the procedures, the same debt that the property continues to generate and minimum real benefit" to the state.

On these delays, Vacancies Inheritance Department officials reported to the auditors that "the deadlines set by the regulations are difficult to comply, because they consider the average administrative times, including times from various departments." It is that the process of vacant inheritance includes the intervention of several areas, such as the Ministry of Education, the recipient of the goods; the Civil Registry, issuing death certificates for prosecution; Banco Ciudad, manager of pricing the good that is not incorporated into the Buenos Aires heritage; and the official clerk, if the property actually is recorded in favor of the City. "The consequence of this in a systematic breach of statutory deadlines," said the AGCBA. Also, a "constant informality in recording passes between the involved agencies" was detected.

However, behind closed doors the audited Department, the watchdog found that lower officials change rules by "internal notes." According to the report, on May 6, 2008 the Director of Judicial Affairs said in a note to the Director of Management that the possession of a property was given to a buyer upon delivery of 40% of the value of the property, "being that Article 24 of Resolution 365-SED03 has to be granted against payment of 100% of the value." The City Watchdog proceeded to conclude that "it is wrong under the authority of the officers involved.”