Of the 11 agreements signed by the City of Buenos Aires to carry out the plan Private Slums and the settlements near the Creek, only one ended; situation that led to the Buenos Aires General Audit (AGCBA, for its acronym in Spanish) to highlight the "low level of implementation" of the commitments made by the Capital -in 2010- to mitigate the situation of families living near the watercourse.

The report adopted this year, from data of the first half of 2013, on the participation of the city government in the Comprehensive Sanitation Plan Riachuelo (PISA), containing observations not only related to the regularization and the relocation of the residents of the area, but also to the budget execution of these tasks.

In that sense, the AGCBA recalls that in 2010 the City of Buenos Aires signed a general agreement with the national government and the Matanza-Riachuelo Basin Authority (ACUMAR, for its acronym in Spanish), to carry out so-and jointly plan and Private slum settlements located on the banks of the river were 17,711 families live.

That commitment "framework" agreements involving 11 individuals and through them, the Buenos Aires government received National funds, which they should surrender through local Housing Institute (IVC).
In addition, the single agreement ended when the audit observed six others were under way, three in rescission and the remaining had no information.

In Detail

In regard to the six agreements in execution, the AGCBA found that "only two recorded progress of work certificates."

This is the agreement intended to build 780 homes in the 21-24, settlement and Magaldi (area General Paz Ave. and Castañares). To develop this part of the plan, the City received the Ministry of Planning of the Nation about $ 5,230,451. The investigation revealed that, of that total, "$ 4,152,822 were certified and accounted."

The other agreement (461/2011) started to build 54 homes, more internal infrastructure, Villas 21-24 and 26 (Lacarra 2049). In this case, domestic transfers amounted to $10,179,138, of which they were certified and paid by the IVC approximately $8,557,649.

As for the four agreements with records showing they actually began the work, they didn’t have certification of advancement, the Audit explained that there are plans for the construction of a total of 253 apartments, distributed on the one hand, in the area of Veracruz 3459 (16 homes with internal infrastructure); Valparaiso 3564 (48 units), both from the Villa 21-24; and on the other, in Luzuriaga 837 (125 households) and San Antonio 721 (64 houses), the latter in slum 26.

On the enterprises of Slum 26 the technicians as well as the AGCBA both have detailed certificates dated to July 15, 2011 beginning, but in the case of Luzuriaga "a new work plan and disbursement schedule is approved," while San Antonio "25% without certification was executed. The IVC proposes to closing of the agreement with the transfer and reformulate the project," says research.

As already mentioned, the auditors found that three agreements were in the process of rescission: those intended to build -in different stages-, 320 apartments in the Bank's infrastructure Iguazu neighborhood, also of Villa 21-24.

The report said that "these three conventions, two received transfers" totaling nearly $ 18 million. Aside from the funds in question, the audit stated that "the relevant accountabilities were not made," adding: "As reported by the Secretariat of Urban Development and Housing, this is due to the Board of IVC -in meeting of 28/06 / 2013- that decided to terminate the contract with the company responsible for the work (Tawer SA), and is -at time of survey- in the process of making a new bid for the achievement of the tasks , even though they have not registered the aforementioned rendition."

Apart from this explanation, the total funding not accounted for by the City amounted to $20,684,803.

To top it all off, the AGCBA said it could not get information about the 1305/2011 agreement, designed to build 29 homes in the street Hubac 4700, Slum 21-24.

Internal Control

Moreover, the audit noted that in June 2012 the City of Buenos Aires decided to assign the code "60 ACUMAR" to all actions related to the remediation work watercourse, so they are identified in the budget expenses of the following year.

However, the report explained that the City Budget for 2013 "did not have a single, unified identification of budgetary allocations code, a situation that forced the audit team to resort to different methods to determine the investment."  In addition, it created particular difficulties for identification -of expenditures- in the Ministries of Economic Development, Environment and Public Space."

In fact, the report came to have "59 actions related to Environmental Health Plan of which only 34 (57%) had the 'code 60 ACUMAR'".

Administrative Mess

The Audit recognizes that the identification of the 59 actions "required a process of reconciling different budget items" 75 items were found with code 60 and another 41 with identification "code 60 ACUMAR" even though they did not fit into that category.

These 41 actions "amounted to almost 289 million pesos, and involved the Ministries of Urban Development, Health and Economic Development. Finally, auditors totaled 25 activities that although they did not have the ACUMAR code they should have had it for the activities of the Comprehensive Sanitation Plan (PISA)" lists the report.

There is more. At 59 actions should join 57 other companies that correspond to Urban Highways SA and Buenos Aires South Corporation, which use their own accounting.

This means that, overall, 116 shares, which give a total investment for the first half of 2013 of $ 161,741,811.11 were counted.

"This amount was approved by the ACUMAR as government actions related to the PISA City," says the AGCBA, and adds: "Moreover, the Buenos Aires State reports an overall investment to the same date of $ 596,284,875, 76, it includes (in this amount) those works and services which, although provided in the hinterland of the basin and contribute to the Plan, are not strictly provided for in the PISA."

Overcome Weaknesses to Improve Management

From these findings, the audit concluded that "although progress was made in identifying stocks that make up the PISA under a single code inside the Budget 2013 of the City, it still reflected the internal control weaknesses in different areas, and we must add that it was not taken into account all the shares earmarked when elaborating the investment amount, which reveals weaknesses that must be overcome for the benefit of improving the management of the Plan."