Colombia’s Comptroller General’s Office initiated investigations against the corporation in charge of maintaining the north Bolivar department’s Dique Canal over irregularities leading to the alleged loss of $2.84 million (COP 5 billion), newspaper El Heraldo reported Monday.
The Autonomous Regional Corporation of Magdalena‘s Rio Grande — Cormagdalena — is the corporation in charge of guaranteeing the navigability and safety of the Magdalena River. The corporation’s effectiveness has remained in question since the rainy season disaster at the beginning of 2011, when the river’s Dique Canal sprung a leak, flooding villages and leaving over 150,000 people displaced.
Newspaper El Tiempo reported Sunday that there is evidence that the directive board of the corporation threw away over $2.84 million (COP 5 billion) in the process of fixing the rupture in the canal, when a public works contract it formed for approximately $114 million (COP 201 billion) had to be liquidated following the discovery that it was based on obsolete studies that called for technically impossible projects.
“This is the most important contract made [by Cormagdalena] … What is worrisome is that it is suspended in order to determine if the studies are valid or not when the law requires that the designs are the first thing that have to be tested,” said Nelson Iazciga, the comptroller delegated for infrastructure.
The Colombian government now faces a $568,000 (COP 1 billion) lawsuit on the part of the consortium that had gotten contracted, who claimed that they had stated in advance that the designs didn’t guarantee secure navigation of the canal.