The Engineer, E.B., for his name in the report, could well be the villain in a comic. But it is not. This is a real person.
Specifically he is who in the negotiations of the purchase of railway equipment appeared as a representative of the Argentine authorities to the Chinese and a broker of the Chinese to our country. So says the report of the Auditor General's Office adopted in May 2015.
But the two-timing of this mysterious character is not the only entertainment: this work of the AGN adopted by the majority of the College of Auditors, presents substantial differences from the original document that only had the approval of the minority.
On the negotiation of contracts for the purchase of rolling stock for the former San Martin line it’s highlighted in both reports "the intervention of a representative without legal authority." The document certified by the minority and modified subsequently adds that its participation was "in flagrant conflict of interests."
Both texts agree that "any person representing any foreign interest must accompany their work documents proving their legitimacy."
The survey of the records shows that "the Engineer E.B., of the Company Moore Stephens Global Link acted on behalf of the Argentine government in negotiating supply contracts and financing."
In fact, there are exchanges of mails between representatives of the National Regulatory Commission of Transportation, which at that time was advising the Secretary of Railways, and the Engineer. "In addition, the technical report shows that he was "an adviser to the Ministry of Federal Planning of technical issues of rolling stock and was based in Shanghai."
Both reports of the AGN report that "the Chinese company asked to establish a direct contact with the Secretary of Transportation but Mr. EB requested to always contact them through him."
But in the negotiation and adoption of the Fifth Amendment to the commercial contract everything changed. At a meeting in September 2011, "Argentina is committed to develop a list of desired improvements in technology for locomotives and send them to Mr. EB who, according to a technical report from the Ministry of Transport, is a representative of the company providing the equipment."
As if he was suffering from schizophrenia Mr. E.B. or Engineer offered both countries assistance despite the conflict of interests.
What is not included in the report approved by the majority, but is in the original is that "there were negotiations in which participated a person, without lawful authority, in highly significant aspects, both technical and economic, saying to Chinese officials, that he was a course representative of the Ministry of Planning and before national authorities claimed to be representative of the bidders of the Chinese."
During all this "no one asked to see any accreditation and acting in the interests of opposing parties within the same negotiation, a situation incompatible, unethical and which may have affected the transparency."
The approved report assessed the period from January 2004 to December 2012. During that period, the transport was most of the time under the aegis of the Ministry of Federal Planning. Just in June 2012 it became unified with the interior.
Current legislation states that the documents comprising administrative actions "should be written in the national language." In addition, if you have documents in foreign languages "they must be accompanied with a translation made by a certified translator."
But the issue records would not. Both reports of the AGN say that the "absence of translations against certain documents" as in the first modification of the contracts for the supply of passenger cars and locomotives, or in a note the president of the Chinese company to the Ministry of Transport regarding actions for finalizing the negotiations.
In this regard, the majority report, which is published online, notes that the Ministry of Planning said "it is understandable that in this type of contract they use a language common to the parties, in this case English" and that therefore "the documents in that language were considered sufficient."
However, the minority report pointed out that it "does not reflect a formal question but aims to contribute to the publicity, dissemination and transparency in public management."
What was audited?
The AGN management evaluated three commercial contracts for the supply of rolling stock between the Ministry of Transport and the following companies:
On the one hand, the supply of 279 passenger cars for the subway network CABA with China International Trust and Investment Corporation (CITIC). This agreement was signed on 5/11/2008 and had additional contracts which only the first due to "lack of advance payments and subsequent transfer subway service to the Government of GABA in January 2012" was executed. This first contract was made for the acquisition of 45 passenger cars for line A for a total price of 99.963 million.
Furthermore, the purchase of 24 diesel locomotives, 160 passenger cars, spare parts, tools and technical training for the former San Martin line with China South Locomotive and Rolling Industry (CSR). The first agreement for the purchase of 24 locomotives was made on 25/08/2006 for 47,290,316 value amounts was amended on 09.02.2009 and raised the price to 48,742,316.
In addition, the contract for the purchase of 160 cars signed on 22/08/2006 74,324,395 worth. This value was modified 24/09/2009 and took him to U $ S 85,173,677.00. On the other hand in October 2012 (signed by the Minister of Interior and Transport) the price was increased by 10,129,224, although outside the planned financing.