They are the star spenders so far this year. In the first quarter of 2019, the Executive cut its spending by more than 954 million dollars, but public companies did not follow suit and increased their purchases by more than 65.6%.
Lenin Moreno’s government – its ministries, secretariats, services and agencies – optimized its accounts, but a large part of the 21 state companies, which depend on Moreno, increased their expenses.
According to the National Public Procurement Service (Sercop), public companies spent, between January and March 2019, 391.2 million dollars. In the first three months of last year, however, spending did not exceed 236.2 million. A difference of 155 million dollars.
In comparison, the Executive went from 458.3 million dollars, in 2018, to 337.2 million in the first three months of 2019. 26.4% less.
The statistical report of the Purchasing Service also shows that no other function or local government spent -in percentage- as much as public companies.
Of course, the bulletin shows, not all companies had high expenses. Five stand out for their public purchases so far this year Petroecuador tops the list.
In the analyzed period, the state oil company – in charge of the commercialization of crude oil – awarded 166.9 million dollars for the purchase of goods or services. Petroecuador took, then, 42.6% of all the companies’ expenses.
What did Petroecuador spend? The company – wrapped up in acts of corruption during the government of former President Rafael Correa – bought ethanol, for the production of fuels such as gasoline ecopaís, for 94.2 million dollars to the private company Producargo S.A. It also paid 40.3 million for the maintenance of its terminals and pipelines.
EXPRESO consulted about the purchases of the oil company but, until the closing of this edition, there was no response.
In the second place of purchases, although far below Petroecuador, there is the National Electricity Corporation (CNEL EP). In the first quarter it spent 71.5 million dollars. Their spokesmen also did not give an answer on the destiny and the motivations for that disbursement.
The other state oil company, Petroamazonas, is also on the podium of public buyers this year. He contracted goods and services for 62.1 million dollars.
The oil company’s reports show that part of these expenses were signed with Amazonian communities that provide goods and services for workers. The company has about 6,026 employees (according to 2018 data) and of these, 5,115 are in the field. That is to say, they are in the oil wells separated from the cities. Only 911 people work in Quito.
Since 2016, and with greater emphasis in 2018, Petroamazonas processes have changed to reduce direct contracting. Last year, for example, 64 processes were made by reverse auction. A mechanism that guarantees the best price.
These strategies allowed, since 2016, a saving of 150 million dollars in Petroamazonas.
The other companies that had heavy expenses are Celec (30.9 million) and CNT, with 22.8 million dollars. Despite the consultation, neither of them justified these expenditures.
The Ministry of Public Health (MSP) also made significant purchases this year. The Abel Gilbert Pontón hospital, for example, spent 43.7 million dollars. The Carlos Andrade Marín hospital, on the other hand, hired goods and services for just over 19.3 million dollars.
Two municipalities stand out for the expenses incurred in the first three months of the year. The first is the municipal government of Durán, which awarded 43.7 million dollars in the aforementioned period. In second place is Guayaquil. His municipality spent 23.1 million, in three months. (I)