The General Intervention of the State Administration (IGAE) has sent to the judge of the National High Court that investigates the alleged irregular awards to alleged donors of the ‘box b’ of the Popular Party a report in which it does not highlight irregularities contrary to the regulations in the processing of different files and public works contracts.
In a report dated November 4 and sent to the head of the Central Court of Instruction Number 5, to which Europa Press has had access, the technicians focus on “the regularity in the processing of the files and the existence or not of deficiencies in the documentation and regulated assessments for its resolution of the works and services contracting files sent by companies and public entities”.
The report is key to being able to attribute bribery to businessmen who received awards in exchange for entering funds in box B of the PP, a line that judge Pablo Ruz had to close in 2015 due to lack of evidence and that a new report from the UDEF in 2020 allowed to reopen.
The current judge in the case was waiting for the IGAE report to make a transcendental decision in the case, whether to file or prosecute those under investigation, and he has had to summon the officials in charge of writing it due to his continuous delays. After quoting them, the delivery of the report has arrived, so the summons has been put on hold.
Throughout 94 pages, the technicians give details on contracting files processed, among others, by the Ministries of Defense, Development and Environment, but also by the Public Land Entity (SEPES) or AENA. The absence of irregularities indicated contradicts previous UDEF reports, as well as the content of the UDEF report and the judge’s orders.
Judge Pedraz requested that report from the State Intervention as a result of another report, in this case from the UDEF, which managed to resurrect the house in box B of the PP. The finding was a milestone in the case after the bribery line had to be ruled out in March 2015 due to lack of evidence proving that the secret items collected in the Bárcenas papers were payments in exchange for specific awards. The confession of Francisco Correa in the trial of the First Period of Gürtel, in which he assured that the adjudications of the great public work were decided in the same Council of Ministers of Aznar in exchange for a donation of between 2 and 3% to the Popular Party motivated the reopening of the case by De la Mata.
In an April 2020 order, the magistrate stated: “There is an indicative causal relationship between the donations, the subsequent actions established to establish contacts (of Bárcenas and the deceased Álvaro Lapuerta with the PP authorities) and the relationships established . Sometimes the result was produced in the form of the contracts received, the real objective of the employer after the negotiation”.
Now, unlike other reports submitted so far, the IGAE had been reflecting irregularities. Thus, in one dated December 16, 2021, “very notable deviations” were highlighted in a contract awarded in 2003 by the Ministry of the Environment to Constructora Hispánica SA, a company investigated in the ‘Gürtel’ plot.
Specifically, the 2021 report focused on the contract for the environmental recovery and restoration of the Marismas del Joyel in the Marismas de Santoña and Noja nature reserve, in Cantabria.
The aforementioned document indicated that this award, which dates back to March 25, 2003, was closed at an amount of 1,492,152 euros. Then, the IGAE assured that there was an extra cost of 28,633.39 euros, which represented 1.74% of the contract that already had a modified 9.99%, for which it would exceed the limit percentage and would have required the report of the Service Inspection.
This last report signed by the two IGAE technicians, however, does not highlight any irregularity in the terms in which the government control body itself referred in its previous analysis.