The Colombian Inspector General’s Office found irregularities and possible evidence of bribery in the Colombian Family Welfare Institute (ICBF) contracts, various media reported Tuesday.
In a review of 78 ICBF contracts for food, children’s supplements, international cooperation, and other forms of aid, the Inspector General’s Office claims to have discovered serious irregularities.
The irregularities indicate both the possible awarding of assistance contracts in return for payment and the inadequate monitoring of agreements.
According to Radio Santa Fe, the inspectors report said that “transparency and objective selection were possibly not duly applied.”
Inspectors noted that many of the contracts were generic and strangely signed at the same time each December. Additional fees, totaling as much as 244.8% of the originally agreed upon amount, were often added at the time of signing.
In an examination of 48 supply contracts for ICBF programs, inspectors found that agreements were sometimes made with operators, “despite repeated reports of defaults by these contractors.”
Inspectors reported defaults in the implementation of assistance contracts, including the quality control for food programs across the country. The report cited children’s supplements contaminated with salmonella and coliform bacteria.
“The repeated breach of contract in the execution of these contracts create risks that affect the life, health, balanced diet, and protection of the population,” the report stated.
“Despite the requirements of the comptroller and the supervisor of the contracts, the ICBF was only willing to fine the contractors, risking the health and lives of the boys, girls, adolescents and elderly beneficiaries of the institute’s programs.”
The Inspector General’s Office has asked the prosecutor general and the comptroller general to investigate the findings.