An anti-corruption statute has been approved, stating that financial advances granted by the state to contractors to carry out public works must now be handled by a financial company acting as a trustee, El Espectador reported Thursday.
The government aims to avoid corruption scandals such as the Bogota public works scandal taking place again in the future.
The statute also declares that the financial trustees will be in charge of initiating proceedings against those who breach the obligations of the awarded contract.
Representative Guillermo Rivera said, “The auditors, the financial institutions, the head of internal control and public watchdogs could ask the trustee banks about movement in the accounts so that they can be scrutinized in real time.”
Another representative Telesforo Pedraza said, “All advances and concessions cannot be administered by any thing other than a trustee.” He added that situations like the Bogota public works scandal will not take place again in the country.
Among other things, the statute prohibits those who have contributed to a political campaign from being contracted by the state while the supported candidate is in office. It also stiffens penalties for those who have committed crimes against the state. Furthermore it excludes those who have been convicted of corruption from obtaining beneficial treatment such as being placed under house arrest.
The statute, after 12 sessions in the chamber of representatives, was approved Wednesday night.