The government group Municipality of La Laguna (PSOE, United and Avante) and the Canary Coalition (CC) collide again over the control of municipal economic spending. CC denounced yesterday at a press conference that the local agreement has spent 500 million euros since 2019 without prior control, which they denied from the Lagoon Government. In addition, the nationalists affirmed that the mayor, Luis Yeray Gutiérrez (PSOE), raised an objection to an expense of 798,000 euros for subsidies to the commercial sector, which was also denied by official sources of the Lagunero Consistory.
The mess with the control of the accounts is not new. To understand it, we must go back at least to the beginning of March, when the Canarian Coalition requested an extraordinary plenary session on the control of the council’s economic spending. The appointment was convened and was suspended as soon as it began because the Government understood, after consulting the Secretariat on whether the Plenary was competent to adopt the agreements that were proposed, that an «illegality» could be incurred if it was held.
The mayors of the government group left the plenary hall and the opposition publicly showed their anger, and the meeting was followed by the statements of the person in charge of the Intervention, the body in charge of supervising the economic expenditure of the City Council: «We have asked incessantly since a long time ago means, especially from personnel, to Human Resources. They were requested by the previous auditor and have never been done. I have not seen a response from Personal to provide the means and be able to carry out the functions that we legally have to carry out ».
The matter has since remained in the background. However, in the last plenary session, held on May 12 and in one of the final points, the intervener was asked again and she ruled again in similar terms. She pointed out that at the discretion of the Intervention, an annual planning is established that is mandatory, and I add: «But planning has to be done with means». She specified that in 2019 it could not be carried out due to that lack of resources, in 2020 there was a plan but that could not be carried out either and that in 2021 it was not developed. “In 2022, theoretically, a plan must be made, and priorities will be set in it according to the means.” And she settled: “If there are no means, a control cannot be carried out as the Law says.”
The leader of CC in La Laguna, Jonathan Domínguez, expressed this Thursday that the Government of La Laguna changed, due to the slowdown that it entailed in the procedures, the anticipated inspection (in which the so-called objections were formulated) for an annual system, which was also not is doing due to lack of means. He stated that only high-value contracts or contracts with certain characteristics are being audited.
Domínguez referred to the lack of Intervention personnel, criticized the spending of 500 million euros without control, affirmed that the mayor raised an objection (for having processed the file for commercial subsidies to deal with the pandemic, of 798,000 euros , «not in accordance with the norm») despite having said that he has never resorted to that formula and announced that they will request a new plenary session on control. «Are they waiting for some accounting crimes to prescribe so that they can carry out these audits and, later, we make a king emeritus; yes, I did it, but has it already prescribed? “Dominguez wondered.
From the government group they denied the majority. «Jonathan Domínguez’s statements at a press conference are riddled with falsehoods. In the first place, the mayor of La Laguna, Luis Yeray Gutiérrez, has not raised any objection to the intervention, ”official sources assured. «CC self-interestedly confuses auditing with control. All the files have Intervention reports, through limited prior inspection, which was approved unanimously by all the political parties, including CC. So the City Council does not pay any bill that has not been audited, “they said.
«The audit of the accounts, which is not compulsory, does not correspond to a political decision, but rather is a decision made by the Intervention, which is an autonomous body. The lack of personnel in that department (which has been in demand since 2018) is not an obstacle to carrying out an audit, since it can be outsourced, but it must be done at the request of the Intervention itself,” they indicated.