Comptroller made special examinations to the university and to the public company, both settled in Urcuquí. He found irregularities in travel expenses and in the relationship with contractors. The City of Knowledge, better known as Yachay Empresa Pública (EP) and Yachay Tech University, are still in the spotlight after the two special examinations carried out by the Comptroller’s Office.
Although there are other audits that are developed in parallel, two have already been disseminated. In them, alleged irregularities ranging from payments to contractors were detected; lack of control of the works, leases of unjustified offices, consultancies that were not used, purchase of technological equipment without sustenance, even the bad administrative management of personnel, among other anomalies.
The first report addressed the Yachay Public Company, created in March 2013 to build the City of Knowledge in Urcuquí, in the province of Imbabura. The Comptroller’s Office issued 10 observations to the management of the previous authorities headed by Héctor Rodríguez.
The report states that the execution of works and provision of services without prior contracts was authorized, which generated obligations for more than $ 5 million.
The figure was paid to the contractors through five payment agreements, a legal figure that is used only in extraordinary cases. Nor was the price readjustment made before the payment of the contract advance for the construction of the infrastructure and urban equipment project of the City of Knowledge, which caused a payment in excess of $ 954,379.
There were also differences in payroll volumes in the Earth Sciences Cluster project that caused payments of more than $ 3 million. Another contract observed is for the construction of internal roads of the study center, a job that came to have 824 days of delay, without the authorities liquidating the contract for these failures. But they also did not manage the total recovery of the advance payment for the roads that reached $ 10.5 million.
It was also found that the Yachay Public Company leased buildings in Quito for $ 128,388, despite having sufficient infrastructure in Urcuquí. Regarding the university, the comptroller’s office detected errors related to improper payments to the entity’s officials. One of them is the payment of more than $ 20,000 to couples of husbands and teachers for per diem of residence. The law determines that this benefit could only be received by one, but both earned this monthly compensation.
Another case is that at the university, $ 10,064 of the travel expenses of the Academic Secretary were not settled due to lack of reports of compliance with activities. They also started hiring without verifying the existence of physical and administrative conditions for the implementation of laboratories.
This caused that until the closing date of the exam the students have laboratories of Biology, Physics, Geology and Chemistry, fundamental for their academic activities. The control authority explained in its reports that these abnormalities attacked the center of higher education, because that budget that was misdirected could serve for the programs and projects of the City of Knowledge.
However, the outgoing principal of the Universidad del Conocimiento, Carlos Castillo, defends his management and emphasizes “We are going to try to challenge. There are things that do not appear in the Comptroller’s report, for example, that in August we returned $ 1.8 million to the public treasury for the salaries of the members of the management commission and deans who did not live in Ecuador.
Also, it is not mentioned that the double payments of per diem are detected by us. Most observations are prior to my management. “Castillo argued that he left office on Tuesday the 13th. On the Yachay Tech budget for 2017, the former official revealed that 80% of the $ 21 million allocated, that is, $ 17 million, was used because he highlighted that the acquisition of a team that costs more than $ 1 million that would have increased the realization or use of the assigned items. But the provider offered a new model at no cost, which will come next year.
The city of knowledge is about to turn four and has two special Comptroller exams that reveal irregularities.
01 / April 2014
President Rafael Correa inaugurates the city of knowledge. The planned investment was $ 1,043 million. Its first principal was Fernando Albericio.
12 / September 2016
After 2 months of his resignation, Fernando Albericio denounces a series of irregularities in Yachay EP and Tech.
15 / September 2017
President Lenin Moreno visits the university and said that he “found a defective and incomplete product, a metaphor that the citizen revolution left us. ”
18 / September 2017
The Executive announces in its weekly report that it has requested that the Comptroller perform the examinations that correspond to determine possible responsibilities.
October 18, 2017
The Office of the Comptroller General of the State announces the start of special exams for Yachay Tech and Yachay EP after going through the work.
09 / February 2018
Comptroller Pablo Celi reveals the irregularities found in the special exams that resulted in 10 reports from the public company and 4 from the university.
13 / February 2018
Carlos Castillo, principal of the Yachay Tech University, presented his resignation for personal reasons and expressed his disagreement with the way in which the principals are elected in Ecuador.
According to the report presented by the National Government in September 2017, Yachay Tech does not have the necessary and adequate infrastructure, because there are only 12 classrooms and four laboratories for 1,010 students.
11 classrooms of the Superior Institute July 17 are loaned for students to receive classes.
Lack of equipment
In the first phase, comprised between 2012 – 2018, the requirement of $ 60 million was planned for laboratory equipment, $ 19.7 million were destined for the year 2017.
Public Prosecutor’s Office analyzes citizen links
The report published on the website of the Comptroller General of the State on “the resources used by the Presidency of the Republic and related entities in the citizen links that the National Government carries out” covers what has been done since January 1 from 2010 until December 31, 2015.
In this document, conclusions are generated by the control authority. In addition, recommendations are made. Among the observations is: The General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic, signed 13 payment agreements, for $ 633,872.01, which corresponded to the delivery of communication services, required by the general coordinator of Communication, for the realization of the links citizens and for the payment of those services, only the invoices and the act of delivery reception of the service were attached, in some cases; without evidencing, the realization of procedures or mechanisms used for contracting, in compliance with established regulations.
From January 20, 2007 to May 20, 2017, 523 Saturdays were issued. Of that number, 508 were nationwide and 15 abroad. The first of these spaces was made from the Salón Amarillo de Carondelet
Among the conclusions, it is also stated that “in 13 procurement processes carried out in the Presidency of the Republic, for a total of $ 2,976,012.40, the general coordinator of the National Communication Secretariat did not document information that substantiates the needs of the service, studies and budgets with the corresponding technical specifications of the goods or services required and the reasons that justify the realization of this contracting, there is also no substantiated evidence to support the costs of the hiring, which allow knowing if the entity selected suitable offers, for the interests of the institution, as well as establishing the uses, destinations, purpose and scope of the contracted communication products.
It is also observed “the elaboration of a contract for the artistic services of the musical group” Consciencia Ciudadana “, defining it as urgent, without substantiating such characteristic, on the other hand, the cost of the service was planned in $ 2,600.00 monthly according to the established in the recitals of Resolution 188 of April 21, 2011; however, in clause six, payment method, it was mentioned that disbursements would be made by presentation; consequently, the general coordinator of the National Communication Secretariat requested the payment of $ 60,100.00 for 23 artistic presentations.
The current comptroller, Pablo Celi, handed over to the Office of the Prosecutor a report with criminal responsibility that includes at least 10 officials from the Communication Secretariat. (I)