Radius Snail reveals new details of the scandal of the Residual water treatment plant (PTAR) del Salitre in Bogotá, after a detailed review of the digital file that rests publicly in the Administrative Court of Cundinamarca.
Caracol Radio published in scoop the hidden alert about the paralysis of the plant due to lack of equipment maintenance and the lack of training of some Aqueduct officials, as well as the investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office since last January to the manager of that Aqueduct company, Cristina Arangoand one of the auditors, IVK, for alleged procedural fraud.
In this new chapter, Caracol Radio puts the magnifying glass on the warning of a possible patrimonial detriment if the Regional Autonomous Corporation (CAR) of Cundinamarca does not pay the CPES contractor for the works that are running.
First, it should be clarified that the payment order from CAR to the CEPS consortium, made up of Spaniards, Greeks and Colombians, was decreed by the Court from December 15, 2021one day before the Aqueduct took over the operation of the plant.
The IVK auditor did not object to several works, that is, he verified that several pieces of equipment are operating and functioning. So, the amount authorized to pay is 117 billion pesos.
Challenges against the Aqueduct and the CAR were already underway against the precautionary measure in September 2021 issued by the Court that continue to be studied by the Council of State, but one of these caught my attention.
The Attorney General’s Office, headed by its environmental and agrarian delegate Alba Rocío Ávila, challenged the decision to pay the contractor, NOT on July 27, as announced in a press release, but on January 12. Even that appeal was rejected by the same Court in February of this year because it was inadmissible. Caracol Radio knew the documents that prove it.
In that pronouncement, the Public Ministry argued that “the collective rights judge has no jurisdiction to rule and resolve matters regarding the fulfillment of contractual obligations, and that, in accordance with established by the Constitutional Court the parties must be guaranteed due process, which has not happened in this case.”
In one of the public hearings held by the Administrative Court of Cundinamarca, on June 17, the same director of the CAR of Cundinamarca, Luis Fernando Sanabriatold the magistrate Nelly Villamizar, that he was going to carry out the happy payment of 117 billion pesos.
“The entity, madam magistrate, following the absolute order of your honorat this time is taking course to make the payment in accordance with the preparation of the corresponding administrative acts, canceling the order in its entirety from milestone ISanabria said.
Nevertheless, July 14 arrived and nothing was disbursed the money. Therefore, the Court reiterated, once again, the obligation to pay the CEPS contractor. The next day, according to another document known to Caracol Radio, the CAR already had the payment invoice ready.
And that was when everyone went against Judge Villamizar. The Delegate Attorney, Alba Ávila, issued new appeals requesting to revoke the decision of December 15.
Until the next Minister of the Environment, Susana Muhamadreported her to the National Commission for Judicial Discipline, which opened an investigation against the magistrate that is ongoing for allegedly favoring the interests of the contractor.
Why is payment to the contractor still paralyzed to date?
The Court of Cundinamarca ordered an expert opinion last May, that is, an evaluation of the current state of the Wastewater Treatment Plant that could take months. He is in charge of the Colombian Society of Engineersconsidered the most prestigious technical entity in the country.
So, what the CAR requested, in a document known to Caracol Radio, is an extension for the payment of the 117 billion pesos until such compliance is given to the taking of the evidence ordered by the Court and the Corporation pronounces itself in its closing arguments.
Nevertheless, further delays in this payment could apparently impact public finances. A source close to the process indicated that the equipment that is up and running, which was not objected to by the intervener IVK, was purchased in dollars and euros.
They come from countries like United States, Germany, France, Canada, Brazil and Holland. At a time when the dollar exchange rate exceeds 4,000 pesos, there could be a risky possibility that the figure of 117 billion pesos could increase.
But there is another problem. There are 250 Colombian and international suppliers who are waiting for that payment from CEPS. According to the source, there 8 account liens against the contractor.
CAR finally installs Dispute Committee
A breakthrough was made this Thursday. to settle the differences between the CAR of Cundinamarca and the CEPS contractor. After six years, as established in the contract to expand the PTAR Salitre, the Verification Committee was installed. It had to be installed since 2016.
Twenty-seven work meetings were necessary, developed during 16 months, promoted by Gabriel Jurado, environmental delegate of the Comptroller General of the Republic. “With the document that was signed today, it is guaranteed that the WWTP will not be paralyzed,” he said.
It was unanimously agreed to go as the figure of the Friendly Composer to the Colombian Society of Engineers (SCI) to solve the controversies that have been arising in the project.