Since its creation in 2006, the Matanza-Riachuelo River Basin Authority (ACUMAR) has been constituted by the National Government as well as the Government of the City of Buenos Aires. The following information regarding the 2011 administration was provided by the General Auditor of the City of Buenos Aires (AGCBA) in its report published in February 2013.
During 2011, the City completed programs through the Comprehensive Environmental Sanitation Program (PISA). The total budget for these programs was of $ 546,527,275.79.
The report states that, "the Administration’s Budget did not have a unique identification number," such as a code that would be used to identify all programs under PISA. What would it be used for? To facilitate public oversight of the funds as well as the activities carried out during the year. However, this was not the case in 2011.
The Government of the City of Buenos Aires was not alone in terms of obstacles to monitor PISA. As reported by the Agency of Analysis of Public Management (AGP), "the Supreme Court of Justice established that ACUMAR should provide information on the progress of the objectives (improving the quality of life of the inhabitants of the slums, cleaning up the river basin, preventing damage, among other things), through a system of indicators”. Despite the efforts, according to the General's Auditor Office (AGN), not only is this being done partially, but there are accusations of hidden data.
It should be noted that the City’s Government contributed another $ 25 million pesos directly to ACUMAR.
Slums and riverside settlements
The AGCBA assured that the plan for relocating the slum’s habitants that currently reside around the river basin was "mismanaged” mainly because the land appointed for new construction was public land inventoried and categorized as historical landmark.
The report detected this from a sample of work analyzed by IVC. They found that they underspent their budget by 40% ($ 64,033,975.16).
One example of this was the construction of 64 houses for the inhabitants of slum 26 in a neighborhood called Barracas, the construction was conceded in 2009 and it was supposed to be finished within the next 15 months. The downside was that one of the lands chosen for this project had a building in it and, surprisingly, the building had been categorized as a historical landmark. Therefore, as of December 2011 no work had begun.
Something similar happened with the construction of 125 houses intended for family groups, also of Slum 26. When the work started, the sites were occupied. Finally, after some time, the work began on June 2012.
There are many examples of the mismanagement, such as the homes that were supposed to be built on 1948 Lisandro de la Torre Road and on 1881 Pilar Road. According to AGCBA, “the land was being used by a Civil Association,” therefore it was decided to relocate both constructions. Besides this, AGCBA stated that “IVC did not include a document to support or confirm the intrusion.”
Whose resources are they?
The construction jobs analyzed were done by the Federal watchdog from agreements between the Ministry of Federal Planning Office and the City IVC.
The report explains that the National Government transferred, in 2011, $ 15,484,924.30 pesos for the execution of construction jobs and adds that, if they would have started on time then the amount would have been $ 55,804,924.87 pesos.
The auditors noted that these resources were recorded in the account balances of the City Government as "our resources" -source 12 in the budget jargon- rather than "transfers affected" (source 14). "Improper exhibition of budget execution by funding source" is the technical statement expressed by the control experts.