The Court of Accounts approved the audit report on the agreements and resolutions contrary to objections formalized by the local auditors of the local entities of the Community of Murcia and the anomalies detected in the matter of income, as well as on the agreements adopted with omission of the procedure of previous examination relative as of 2016.
Specifically, the audit was carried out on the 45 town councils and 7 associations of the Community and, after the activity, the Court of Auditors collects a series of conclusions. In relation to the obligation to send information to the Court of Accounts, the audit indicates that, as of September 20, 2018, 89% of the bodies of Intervention of the municipalities of the Region of Murcia, and 57% of the associations , had sent the information corresponding to the 2016 financial year.
The level of compliance on time represents the 52% of total shipments, and the compliance of all entities of the Autonomous Community stands at 83%; percentage significantly higher than that achieved by the group of entities in the national territory, according to the Court of Accounts.
On the other hand, 57% of the local entities of the Region of Murcia that sent information reported that there were no agreements contrary to objections formulated by the intervention body, nor files with omission of inspection or anomalies in the management of income in the audited period.
The Report collects that most of the local entities developed a prior limited audit, which is the system usually applied by larger entities. Likewise, 46% of them only carried out this control, verifying that the existence of credit was adequate, as well as that the body that generated the expenditure was competent.
All this, without there being an agreement of the Plenary in which other additional points were defined -which are considered transcendental in the procedure of management of payment files- and that, consequently, could be included as verification aspects in the audit previous. This fact, which violates the provisions of the Consolidated Text of the Local Tax Regulatory Law (TRLRHL), significantly reduces the scope and effectiveness of the control, according to the Court of Auditors.
On the other hand, the subsequent financial control was only carried out by 17% of the entities, which highlights, in addition to a breach of the TRLRHL, a weakness in the internal control systems of these entities. In relation to analysis of the agreements contrary to objections, files with omission of inspection and main income anomalies, of the 78 files analyzed, 33 were related to expenses derived from the provision of services and supplies, without adequate legal coverage.
This was largely due to the fact that the provision was carried out when the previous contract had ended, but a new one had not been tendered or formalized. Consequently, in these files there was a violation of contractual regulations, by lacking, on a recurring and prolonged basis, a contract in force that would enable the benefits that were being celebrated, contrary to the provisions of the TRLCSP.
“The absence of a validly constituted contract results in the existence of acts that could be null and void by virtue of the provisions of the aforementioned TRLCSP”, according to the Court of Accounts.
Regarding the 45 remaining files (40 of them, corresponding to the Totana City Council) they referred to the violation of priority of payments regulated by article 135 of the Spanish Constitution and article 14 of the Organic Law of Budgetary Stability and Financial Sustainability, as well as by the Fund Disposition Plan approved by the Entity’s Plenary.
In relation to the possible patrimonial responsibility of the authorities and the personnel to Public Administration service that could be derived from its actions in the matter of administrative contracting, the TRLCSP indicates that it will be required in accordance with the provisions of the Law on the Legal Regime of Public Administrations and the Common Administrative Procedure (LRJPAC), currently regulated in Law 40/2015 , of October 1, of the Legal Regime of the Public Sector.
Likewise, it is established that the infringement or improper application of the precepts contained in said Consolidated Text, on the part of the personnel at the service of the Public Administrations, when there is at least serious negligence, it will constitute a very serious offense, whose disciplinary responsibility will be required in accordance with the specific regulations on the matter. However, in none of the municipalities analyzed does it appear that actions have been initiated to purify possible responsibilities.
The expenses associated with ten of these files were processed through extrajudicial credit acknowledgments, with the aim of allocating to the 2016 budget expenses from previous years derived from non-contract benefits (Águilas, Fortuna, Los Alcázares, San Pedro del Pinatar and Torre-Pacheco city councils, although in the case of Jumilla City Council it corresponded to invoices generated in 2016).
Likewise, the audit observed that, in the case of the files processed by the municipalities of Águilas, Fortuna, Los Alcázares and San Pedro del Pinatar, In the year in which the expenses were incurred, there was not a sufficient and adequate budget allocation for their processing.
This results in a breach of the annuity principle, sanctioned in the TRLRHL, which states that the expense commitments acquired by amount greater than the amount of authorized credits They will be null and void, without prejudice to the responsibilities that may arise. This practice is also classified as a very serious offense in the Law of Transparency and Access to Public Information.
The imputation of these obligationss to the budget for the following year by means of the figure of extrajudicial credit recognition does not in itself validate said acts or purify possible responsibilities, without prejudice to the need to pay for services made by third parties and avoid unjust enrichment of the Administration.
In addition to the aforementioned legal breaches, a weakness in the internal control system in relation to contracting in the aforementioned entities, characterized by the “lack of monitoring of the period of time elapsed between the end of one contract and the start of the file for the tender for the next one.”
Finally, the report makes a series of recommendations aimed mainly at strengthening the internal control bodies of local entities, so that they can adequately and sufficiently exercise the functions of financial intervention and control.
Likewise, emphasis is placed on situations that give rise to the extrajudicial recognition of credits, recommending to local entities that they identify the structural and organizational causes and the management practices that originate their use, so that measures can be taken to avoid making expenses without budgetary provision or demanding the responsibilities that may arise from such non-compliance.
Finally, the review of the figure of extrajudicial credit recognition in the current budgetary regulatory framework so that, where appropriate, this procedure is included in a norm with the force of law and the exceptional cases in which it can be applied are regulated.
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