Home » Another meeting in the government Petro, Minister of Finance contradicted the chancellor (e) Murillo

Another meeting in the government Petro, Minister of Finance contradicted the chancellor (e) Murillo

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Another meeting in the government Petro, Minister of Finance contradicted the chancellor (e) Murillo

A discrepancy has just emerged between the Minister of Finance, Ricardo Bonilla, and the Chancellor (e) Luis Gilberto Murillo, regarding the financing of the passport contract with Thomas Greg & Sons.

Minister Bonilla challenged Murillo’s previous statements, ensuring that the necessary funds do exist to carry out the agreement. “The money from that contract was planned. You cannot issue a tender without having a certificate of budget availability,” stated Bonilla, highlighting the presence of said document as proof of financial planning.

The conflict between both officials focuses on the validity of the award of the contract to Thomas Greg & Sons, with Murillo previously declaring the illegality of such action based on the non-existence of budget availability certificate number 74923. “These resources were reassigned from the two October 2023 to guarantee the provision of the service in the current fiscal period,” Murillo explained, emphasizing an alleged reallocation of funds.

According to Bonilla, an error could have occurred in the information provided to Murillo, suggesting possible internal misinformation within the government. “The money is there,” said the Minister of Finance, contradicting Murillo’s previous statements and sowing doubts about communication and the flow of information within the executive.

In addition to the financial dispute, the case has been complicated by the actions of the former Secretary General of the Foreign Ministry, José Antonio Salazar, who allegedly revoked a decision by Murillo without having the competence to do so. This matter is further aggravated by the fact that Salazar reportedly acted against the direct instructions of President Gustavo Petro, which resulted in his departure from his government.

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The contradictions between Bonilla and Murillo, as well as the implications of Salazar’s conduct, expose a scenario of conflict and disorganization in the process of bidding and awarding government contracts in Colombia. This episode highlights internal tensions within the government and raises questions about financial and administrative management on key issues such as the issuance of passports, an essential service for Colombian citizens.

This development raises concerns about transparency, government efficiency in contract management and the distribution of public resources, fundamental aspects for the population’s trust in its representatives and the proper functioning of state institutions.

What you should know about passports

At the center of a national controversy is the tender for the preparation of Colombian passports, a process that has sparked controversies in recent months after the sole participation of Thomas Greg & Sons, the company in charge of providing these documents in previous years. President Gustavo Petro faces a dilemma after having expressed his disagreement with awarding tenders to a single proponent, which led to the declaration of the tender void by the then chancellor, Álvaro Leyva.

Leyva, under presidential instructions, attempted to prevent the award of the tender to Thomas Greg & Sons, however, before leaving office, he was forced to sign an emergency contract with the same company for the issuance of passports, before the imminent need for a temporary solution while a new tender was organized.

The situation became even more complicated when José Antonio Salazar, former secretary general of the Foreign Ministry and in charge of continuing the bidding process, signed a resolution that revoked Leyva’s previous decisions, finally awarding the contract to Thomas Greg & Sons. This action provoked the immediate reaction of President Petro, who accused Salazar of treason and removed him from office, ordering to reverse the decisions made and maintain the guidelines established by Leyva.

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“He had been betrayed,” said Petro when referring to Salazar’s actions, marking a critical point in this scandal that has not only seen the departure of high officials such as Marta Lucía Zamora, former director of the State Legal Agency, who was also seen implicated after suggesting a settlement with Thomas Greg & Sons.

Thomas Greg & Sons has maintained a firm stance, suing the State for the initial decision to declare the tender void, which raises questions about the legal frameworks that govern these processes. “In Colombia it is legal to deliver contracts to a single bidder,” the company’s defense argues.

The current situation represents a crucial moment for Gustavo Petro’s government in terms of crisis management and public policy, offering an opportunity to review and possibly restructure bidding procedures in search of greater competition and equity in state contracts. With Infobae

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