A report from the General Audit of the City of Buenos Aires (AGCBA, for its acronym in Spanish) states that the repairs carried out at the Colón Theater took an average of 660 days more than what was foreseen in the contracts.

The Watchdog, which approved its report this year on data for the period 2005-2007, examined nine of the 23 tenders to restore the theater facilities and from that sample visited seven works to complete the technical analysis. Thus, it was determined that all the works that had provisional receipt records were in arrears with respect to the planned execution time.

For example, the restoration of flat roofs, to be done in 270 days, took 1,507 days, that is, more than 41 months later. The adequacy of the electrical systems, a work that by contract had to finish in four months, culminated almost one year after its starting date (360 days). And the same happened with the second stage of restoration of the stained glass, which lasted 505 days.

Likewise, the AGCBA detected delays that averaged 532 days in works that were being executed at the time of the report. When the technicians visited the Colon, 1,080 days were worked on two projects that were to have finished in only 240 days: the passive fire protection and the renovation of the facilities, an integral plan of the Theater Experimentation Center. Also other tasks were delayed: repair of the main hall, 240 days, and waterproofing and structural consolidation Vatican Square, about 210 days.

In public works, contractors often requested extensions to finish a job, because the established times are not enough. However, the audit stated that in all of the repairs visited there is an average delay of "375 days between the completions of the last approved extension and the provisional receipt." And, of that sample, of seven cases, "in only two it was possible to verify the application of fines by the inspection of the work," adds the investigation.

The audit also shows that there were three jobs that were paid an average of 88.4% more than what was established in the official budget. Among these works is the restoration of flat roofs, which took 1,507 days, started with an $ 805,580 game, but ended up costing $ 2,358,129, up 192.7%.

For various situations, such as increased inputs for example, contractors may also request a re-determination of the prices of their contracts. However, the control body maintains that the "lack of defined procedures" for this type of adjustment causes delays in its approval - or refusal - that, depending on the cases, are between 10 and 20 months. On this point, the Special Projects Unit (UTE) of the Colón Theater, a unit created by decree in 2008 and under the Ministry of Urban Development, reported that of the nine works analyzed by the AGCBA, eight had redetermination of prices.

In addition to delays and adjustments, the Buenos Aires Audit found deficiencies in four of the seven works that it visited during the preparation of its report. In the restoration of flat roofs there are "rusty profiles which denote that they were not reconditioned, and moisture spots from leaks from the flat roof and (also) on the fourth floor of the Viamonte wing." On the other hand, the perimeter wall of a restored stained glass "presents cracks and deteriorations in the painting; The air conditioning grilles placed on the smooth cement floor are deteriorated even though the system was not put into operation; (That same floor of smooth cement) presents important fissures; And the grids of floor lighting systems are weak to withstand the traffic of people," the AGCBA stated.

Outside of its observations, the Buenos Aires Audit warned that the plumbing of the Theater had, since 1908, a thermal insulation that is a "highly carcinogenic" material: it is the asbestos cement, or asbestos, that has the form of elongated fiber, similar to fiberglass. This insulation causes asbestosis, a serious, and often deadly, disease caused by inhaling fibers from the material, which is stuck in the lungs and damaging them. Asbestosis often leads to lung cancer. For this reason, the report points out that "special care should be taken and urgently anticipated the withdrawal (from the cement asbestos) with the precautions of the case."