The Federal Administration of Public Revenue (AFIP, for its acronym in Spanish) has its own purchasing and procurement system that deviates from the mechanisms that govern the rest of the premises of the Federal Government. The system allows the AFIP to justify their expenses with "nature of exceptional situation" which serves to ease the operations of the entity in the procurement of goods or services. These concessions were granted in the framework of the powers that the legislature delegated to the Executive Branch.
A report from the General Audit Office (AGN, for its acronym in Spanish) analyzed the mechanism of the AFIP and concluded that, while it is not "reprehensible from the point of view of their legality" in execution there are "procedures that may violate or restrict observed basic principles of public procurement."
For example, according to the AGN, the collection agency does not regulated price cap system, which is used to make reference to the value of a good or service of similar characteristics. Although this system is optional for the AFIP, the agency also does not apply the procedure of price controls imposed by the Comptroller General's Office (SIGEN, for its acronym in Spanish) nor the reference price mechanism published by the National Procurement Office.
The AFIP is also empowered to declare contractual operations as "secret" citing security. With this possibility, the entity has a free hand to deal with direct contracting in recruitment procedures and advertising "without establishing objective guidelines to clarify the criteria for its application," says AGN.
On the other hand, the regime of the collection agency limited to bidders who wish to access or challenge the records of purchase. Thus, according to the AGN, the right to defense is restricted. Indeed, the person who intends to access files or appeal shall submit a guarantee equal to five per thousand of the value of the contract and if the AFIP rejected so doing, the money will not be refunded.
From its own system, the AFIP is empowered to increase or decrease the provision of recruitment in a "considerable" way compared to what is permitted by current regulations. The AGN said that with this power, the agency may modify up to 35% of the economic equation that gave rise to the original authentication of bids, while the national rate changes can be up to 20%.
Also, the mechanism of national collector without limitation prohibits the splitting of contracts as established by the current system. The Watchdog detected the operation in purchasing printer tonner.
In some of the AFIP’s contracts the publication deadlines are not contingent on the amount of operations, as in the rest of the public administration. The principle of public procurement protects bidders and pushed the Federal Government in the most convenient price. But the AFIP has a unique approach that "can generate limitations" to publicize the conditions to be met by bidders, and that they can make their presentations in a timely manner.
The Audit adds that the AFIP served "recurrent" outlays for institutional events, protocol and ceremonial acts as "emergency procedures." "Due to its characteristics, these expenses could be planned and anticipated in order to not necessarily have them framed in the emergency rule," the report concludes.