President Juan Manuel Santos announced Monday a number of legislative reforms aimed at restructuring ministries and state agencies as part of a recent measure granting him more authority.
One of the most important reforms involves an amendment to a proposal filed last week for the restructuring of intelligence and counter-intelligence elements of the DAS. The initial proposal had largely been approved by Congress but was deemed unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court for procedural issues when filed last week.
This reform attempts among other things, to clean up intelligence agency databases to exclude those who are in them simply because they belong to a union, human rights organization or political party.
Other reforms proposed on Monday include:
- Amending the departmental codes to support decentralization of the government as well as to give governors the responsibility for prevention and care in emergency risk situations.
- New copyright amendments aiming to control intellectual propoerty rights, especially piracy of published works sold in Colombia. “This project aims to punish equally those who ‘pirate’ non-digital works, i.e. those selling such material through computer networks,” said the Colombian head of state.
- The creation of a National System of Volunteers to coordinate the efforts of the Civil Defense, Red Cross and firefighters. Those who volunteer are could be granted subsidies including education and housing.
President Santos was recently granted extraordinary authority to restructure ministries and state agencies over the next six months.
In an address from the presidential palace, the Casa de Nariño, the head of state praised the work that the Senate and Congress have done over the last year but said, “good work is not a reason to rest on our laurels.”