The Supreme Court has confirmed the sentence of 19 months in prison imposed by the Provincial Court of Madrid on a former head of the General Affairs area of the Ministry of Health for the crime of falsifying an official document by passing off some works as a minor contract when not they were to avoid bidding and thus allow direct award.
In response to the appeal filed, Chamber II of the high court has also ratified the sentence of four months in prison imposed on the representative of the rehabilitation company to whom the work was awarded, in his case for the crime of falsehood committed by an individual.
The Provincial Court of Madrid has condemned these events, considering it proven that the then head of the General Affairs area of the Ministry agreed with the representative of the company Bárcenas Rehabilitation SL the direct award of some works for the Ronda de Segovia building.
The company had presented a project amounting to 75,221.77 euros plus VAT and the person in charge of the Ministry of Health divided the billing so that it was considered as a minor work contract, that is, pretending that it did not exceed 50,000 euros, according to the ruling appealed.
Thus, the person in charge of the company issued an invoice for an amount of 49,739.67 euros plus VAT, and to cover the rest of the work carried out in said building, the company GESVISA, of which he was also the administrator, issued an invoice for an amount of 24,689.42 euros plus VAT for some works allegedly carried out by said company in the building on Calle Espronceda, 24.
The Court considered it proven that this did not correspond to reality since that property had been refurbished by Esalmex, a company that had been awarded the maintenance of the public buildings of the Ministry and therefore GESVISA had not carried out any work on it.
The former head of the Ministry area, aware of the situation, issued on October 28, 2013 a certificate of conformity with the invoice issued by GESVISA for an amount of 24,689.42 euros plus VAT that was paid to said company. In both cases, the highly qualified mitigation of undue delay was applied.
Chamber II of the Supreme Court has rejected the appeals filed by both and therefore confirms the sentences imposed in a sentence in which it recalls its jurisprudence against the “gross trick” of dividing the hiring by administrative resolutions to circumvent the controls “at will”. of who dominates the procedure.
“The fact that a public official signs a certificate in accordance with an invoice that he knows is false because it does not correspond to any work, making it possible to pay for it, cannot be said to be innocuous conduct but rather seriously affects the legal good protected by the criminal type applied”, highlights the high court.
Along these same lines, the Supreme Court underlines that the agreement reached between both parties was intended precisely to avoid the appropriate procedure, breaching the regulations on contracting established for this purpose, so that the work was awarded directly, avoiding the mandatory tender.