The hiring of guardianship for Petroecuador’s facilities, carried out in 2016, has technical, administrative and even criminal responsibility indications. Alex Bravo, signed a contract for 38.2 million dollars for private security despite the Public Works Recruitment Service (Sercop) opposed.
In a formal communication, the entity requested that there be no agreement. Bravo, who faces other legal proceedings, disobeyed the Service’s request without giving legal justification. The Comptroller General of the State reviewed the case and exposed, in a special examination, unjustified increases in the budget. EXPRESO consulted Petroecuador in October about the contracting and, above all, why the agreement with the Oro Negro Consortium is maintained if there are such sensitive observations. Until the closing of this edition there was no position. On October 31, Petroecuador informed this newspaper that the query was transferred to the Legal Department. There were no more pronouncements despite requests for information continued.
The query was then raised to the Minister of Hydrocarbons, Carlos Pérez. The official admitted not knowing about the issue and said that the state should treat these conflicts with transparency and without breaching legal commitments.
What is known is that in 2015, the state tried to sign a private security contract but it was not successful because the applicants did not meet the minimum requirements. The following year the contest was re-attempted and, although the same breaches were detected, this time there was a winner.
The Oro Negro Consortium signed, on March 3, 2016, the security contract with Álex Bravo.
What inconsistencies does the contract have that will end in February next year? The first is an increase in the value assigned to the security service. The budget was 34.2 million dollars. Without arguments, that value grew by four million dollars. Supposedly, the increase would go in part to 52 additional guards for Petroecuador.
The funny thing is that these additional posts were not justified. That is, of the 417 guards required by the state for their offices, 52 were not properly supported.
The Comptroller’s Office, in its latest report with indications of criminal liability against Álex Bravo, highlights that the company did not meet the minimum requirements for staff preparation. The rest of the applications of the bidding documents for the contest were also incomplete.
These shortcomings and the lack of definitive studies for hiring caused the Public Works Hiring Service to qualify the process as unfeasible due to “unsustainable deficiencies”.
Bravo ignores the obligatory observation of Sercop, now, that is not the most serious. Petroecuador personnel, who preferred the reservation of the name, warned this newspaper that the contract with the Oro Negro Consortium is being renewed. In fact, the respondents highlighted, the friction caused by the issue was one of the points that motivated the departure of the former Petroecuador manager, Byron Ojeda.
EXPRESO tried to obtain the Oro Negro Consortium version but did not get an answer.
According to the Comptroller’s Office, the alleged crime involving the safety of Petroecuador is Traffic of Influences.
For this crime, typified in the Criminal Code in article 285, the penalty is three to five years in prison.
The final report of the Comptroller General was delivered on June 27 of this year. The analysis period started in October 2015 and ended on March 31, 2016. (I)