Regional leaders have failed to get ready for Colombia’s upcoming rainy season, putting millions of dollars of contingency funds at risk, reported the the country’s Comptroller General Wednesday.
270 mayors and governors have failed to get accredited to manage budgets, said the inspector, meaning essential, life-saving projects may be paralyzed.
She warned $4.5 million of contingency funds could potentially go unused due to the failure of leaders who “have been indifferent and lazy about an issue that involves human lives, economic and social development, and environmental sustainability.”
This was a “serious failure and lack of commitment to the areas and communities affected by the rainy season,” she said, adding”any delay in the resources management of emergency measures will lead to fiscal damage.”
Hundreds of mayors and governors are already being investigated for misuse of mismanagement of rainy season funds, and the Comptroller General warned that the new mayors and governors who do not acquire the necessary authorizations would not go unpunished.
The government’s Office for Risk Management allocated $22 million to counter the last rainy season, which killed 117 and affected more than 430 thousand.
The Comptroller General set a 12-day deadline before which all leaders who have “committed this grave omission” must get certified by the public/private financial management firm Fiduprevisora.
On March 24, Fiduprevisora in conjuncture with the aid group Humanitarian Colombia will report the accreditation statuses of local leaders in order to establish the mayors and governers who have failed to fulfil their duties.