In bid to end corruption controversy, Colombia’s fiscal watchdog seeks new $150M headquarters

Edgardo Maya

Colombia’s Comptroller General, has sought a new $150 million headquarters in central Bogota in an effort to end to the controversy over inflated costs and corruption that plagued his predecessor’s purchase of the agency’s current building.

In an interview on Thursday with Colombian radio station Caracol, Comptroller General-elect Edgarda Maya Villazon, said the minister of finance would approve about $32 million a year for the purchase of a new headquarters for the roughly 4,000 employees under his charge when the agency’s existing lease expires next December.

The move would put an end to the controversy that came when the agency moved into its current building, which was mired in scandals involving inflated costs and possible fraud. The outgoing comptroller, Sandra Morelli, is currently under investigation on corruption charges.

MORE: Colombia’s chief prosecutor to charge comptroller amid mutual corruption allegations

However, the purchase of the new headquarters may not be so easy.  Darcy Quinn, reporter for Caracol news, stated that the $32 million annual funds would have to be approved by Congress in the upcoming budget debate for 2015.  Villazon has until October to convince Congress to grant him the funding; a task which will prove difficult, as “the money just is not in the budget,” according to Quinn.



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