Govt resources used to fund election campaigns: IG

The Inspector General’s Office expressed concern that government employees pay private “contractors” to fund election campaigns, using public funds.

“There are companies that sponsor parliamentary campaigns and then are hired as contractors so that they can recoup their money. This concerns the Inspector General’s Office and we need to stop it,” said Carlos Augusto Mesa, inspector general of decentralization and territorial entities.

According to the IG’s Office, around $2 million of state funds are lost to corruption annually.

“70% of the entire national budget is spent on state contracting. If we go by what [British magazine] The Economist says, then in Colombia between 19 and 25% of contracting may be lost to corruption,” Mesa told El Espectador.

According to Mesa, it is becoming harder for enforcement agencies to detect fiscal irregularities, due to the development of more sophisticated corruption techniques.

The IG’s Office is investigating 38,000 cases of corruption around the country. Of these cases more than 78% are related to “contracting,” El Pais reported.

Colombian magazine Semana has accused former agricultural minister and pre-election candidate Andres Felipe Arias of such electoral corruption.

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