Three ministries that manage the most important strategic sectors of the country: oil, electricity and mines, are those that should merge in the short term. The three entities maintain a total of 679 employees in their payroll, of which 39 are advisors.
The merger was announced last Tuesday by the current government, as part of a plan to optimize the public sector. But during the past decade the institutionality of these areas has undergone several modifications.
Through Executive Decree 475 of July 2007, the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum was divided into the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum and the Non-Renewable Energy and Electricity Ministry.
For September 2009, the name of the Portfolio of Mines and Petroleum is changed to that of Non-Renewable Natural Resources. Finally, in 2015 this ministry is divided into Hydrocarbons and Mines.
According to the announcement made by Etzon Romo, head of the Secretariat of Planning (Senplades), now the three ministries will be transformed into Energy and Mining.
For Fernando Santos Alvite, former Minister of Energy, the merger is positive, since it avoids duplication of functions
He recalled that before the arrival of Correa these sectors were united, but that the former president, “in his eagerness to create a huge bureaucracy,” divided them into ministries. “Each ministry has a leafy tree, they have undersecretaries who do not fulfill an efficient role.”
This measure, he added, will save the State money and make it more efficient. For Santos, with 300 people in a ministry of this importance would be enough to fulfill the necessary tasks.
He explained that the institution should control and monitor the operation of the sector with both public and private companies.
Jaime Carrera, director of the Fiscal Policy Observatory, said that the concentration of sectors that are so important for the country’s economy is worrisome.
And he vowed that what happened in the past decade will not happen again with the concentration of strategic sector decisions in one person. For the analyst, the important thing is to handle everything with efficiency and transparency to avoid corruption.
Yesterday in the various offices of the ministries there was nervousness in the employees. In these there are undersecretaries and directorates of Human, Financial and even Social Communication Talent that, according to the indicated by the authorities of Government, could be duplicating functions.
Minister Carlos Pérez García is in charge of Hydrocarbons and Electricity. A few weeks ago, Javier Córdova left Minas.
10.2 millions of dollars are spent on the payroll of the ministries. (I)