The president of the Supervisory Commission of the Cantonal Council spoke about the inconsistencies detected by assembly members in the contract signed for the implementation of electronic radar devices in Cuenca.
On Tuesday the 17th, the Audit Commission of the National Assembly, after approving the audit report on the radar contract for Cuenca, recommended its early and unilateral termination.
Alfredo Aguilar, president of the Supervisory Commission of the Cantonal Council, anticipated that once again they will request that this case be considered on the Agenda in the Cantonal Council. In addition, he referred to inconsistencies in the contract.
The Oversight Commission of the Assembly argues that the selected Consortium fails to comply with the terms of reference established by the Mobility Company. Why has compliance not been demanded from the Cantonal Council?
The Cantonal Council Oversight Commission has been dealing with the case for nine months. We have held several meetings, including with the EMOV manager (Juan Carlos Aguirre).
Nine councilors have been asking the mayor (Pedro Palacios) to put this issue on the agenda, understanding that he is the only one who can do it, but he has ignored their request.
Therefore, the Cantonal Council never made a resolution. However, the Commission that I preside over undertook some actions.
The report of the Commission of the Assembly reveals that the Consortium does not comply with the specific experience, in addition to an inability to import the radar systems. Do you believe that they are sufficient grounds to terminate the contract?
To win the contest and comply with the specifications and terms of reference, they said that they have specific experience in the placement of cameras (photocontrols) in Durán (Guayas), for an amount of $2.1 million.
We traveled to that canton to request information from the municipal mobility company, where they told us that nothing was installed.
That is to say, that certificate of specific experience is a false document, with an ideological falsehood, because it is not a question of demonstrating whether it has signed contracts but rather executed and delivered elsewhere.
So, what specific experience does this Consortium have?
None in placement of cameras, but they have some contracts signed in Durán, Cuenca and two other cantons of the country. Are they very lucky or do they have good contacts? That we must find out.
The Legislative Commission recommends the unilateral termination of the contract. What consequences will the city have if this happens?
It will not bring any consequences because there is a protection in the Law, which indicates: When there is an ideological or physical falsehood in a document, the contract must be terminated unilaterally.
Once the report has been presented by the Oversight Commission of the National Assembly, what actions should the Cantonal Council take?
We are at the point of considering this issue of radar systems on the Agenda of the Cantonal Council. We have agreed to make a new request. In this case, to the deputy mayor (Pablo Burbano), so that our request is accepted.
As a councilor and member of the Cantonal Council, did you know about the characteristics of the teams? It is said that these could sanction six infractions, but that they are validated only for two.
In the contract there are several inconsistencies such as the lack of official approval for the infractions and that relatives of two directors of the Municipality are partners in the companies (that make up the Consortium).
Also, the fact that the other two offers have been invalidated incorrectly, which was even said before by the State Attorney General’s Office. In addition, that one of the five consortium companies has been created the day before the call for competition.
The lack of approval is not a cause to terminate the contract. The fact that there are relatives (of officials) in the participating companies is not illegal, but it is unethical and immoral.
However, the biggest reason for the Cantonal Council to terminate the contract is the ideological falsehood of the specific experience.
Based on what information or knowledge did the signing of the contract with this Consortium take place?
The Cantonal Council is not competent to give approval for this contract because EMOV has its own board of directors, chaired by Mayor Palacios and four other members, who authorized this contract.
What is the argument for having decided that 40% of the fines to be collected in the next 12 years should go to the Consortium?
It is a subject that they never justified to us, and it is one of the questions that we asked them (EMOV) at the time, even more so, considering that in the other two offers they proposed 33% and 35%, and had a contract duration of 6 and 8 years, respectively.
The Prosecutor’s Office would be the one to look for possible indications of criminal responsibility. What actions are going to be proposed by the Cantonal Council?
From the Cantonal Council we depend on the mayor, but from the Oversight Commission, three months ago we sent a letter to the Comptroller’s Office, the Prosecutor’s Office and the State Attorney’s Office to examine the contract on and legal grounds.
Article 328 of the Comprehensive Organic Criminal Code is related to falsification and use of false documents and establishes a custodial sentence of 3 to 5 years.
The EMOV manager must terminate the contract and the Prosecutor’s Office must initiate a preliminary investigation to determine alleged responsibilities.
Was it necessary to contract a consortium or does EMOV have the economic and operational capacity to direct this project on its own?
Strategic alliances are good when a public institution does not have the capacity to carry out certain tasks.
The EMOV does have the economic capacity. In cash and banks, it has $10 million.
They also have the technical and operational capacity since they have all the necessary equipment and close to 400 civilian traffic agents.
Do you think that this Consortium wants there to be fewer traffic accidents in Cuenca? That doesn’t really matter to them. They want there to be more infractions, because the more fined, the more money goes to the private sector. It is a 12-year-old business that does not drip but rather drips every day.
As a former EMOV manager, do you think these devices are necessary in the city?
Technology in the use of road safety is important and all countries are on that side because they help reduce accident rates.
Radars and cameras are not something new, but traffic maps must be made, critical points must be seen. It cannot be that when the contract was awarded it was not known where the cameras were going to be located.