It’s been more than a year since the General Audit Office (the AGN) tries to investigate the subsidies awarded by the National Office of Agricultural Commercial Control (ONCCA) to private companies to finance current expenditure. But the "persistence (the entity examined) in providing late and partial response" to requests for information on their operations, generated the highest level of the AGN warned in a resolution that referred to the courts to complete their work.
The investigation began on October 19th 2009. Three weeks later, the Audit requested ONCCA to send information with an 18 point request. The objective was to understand the mechanism of transfer of public funds to companies in the agricultural sector during the period 2007-September 2009. According to the resolution of the AGN (172/10), the Office was "partly responding" those points and instead, was requesting extensions on dates. From the original requirement until July 12th of this year, the auditors sent six notes more, repeating the data request, or granting extensions.
As the complaint arguments, the Auditors revealed that up to March 19th 2010, of the 20 cases included in requests for information, "only two were complete." The document also specifies that the latest manifestation of ONCCA dates from August 6th 2010, when "partially responded, leaving yet to complete important part of the requirements (data) formulated".
"Given the time elapsed 'said the members of the AGN-, the truth is that they have not taken measures to adequately evacuate" the doubts that arose from the investigation, adding that as "unjustified" the refusal to give information.
Strictly speaking, the AGN met all the steps provided for such cases. Items A and B of Article 18 of the basic operating rules stipulate that technicians must insist requests for information and after a certain time if the reluctance of analyzers body persists, notify the College of Auditors, who, according to the Article 19 shall issue an opinion to report what happened to the organization in question, in this case the ONCCA, the Comptroller General's Office (SIGEN) and the Joint Commission Revising Accounts of Congress.
On the other hand, the possibility of seeking justice for situations like ONCCA’s, is stipulated in a provision of the General Audit Office, 238 of 2009. Here it is understood that, after serving Articles 18 and 19 its basic rules, "the AGN shall initiate (according to the Royal Spanish Academy, 'start something, to carry out the first steps of a process, litigation, record or other official action') legal action in exercise of the constitutional powers and legal, especially those contained in Article 119 of Law 24.156; implied powers derived from its function; Decree 1172/2003 and access to public information."
Article 119 of Law 24,156, Financial Management, subparagraph B indicates that the AGN has is "to require the collaboration of all public sector entities, which are obliged to provide data, documents, records and reports related to the exercise of their functions."