This Thursday, the Court of Auditors approved a harsh report on the management of the controversial International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP). It is a state institution chaired by the first vice president of the Government, Nadia Calviño, and which has been the subject of controversy in recent months due to the contracts awarded to the so-called Tito Berni plot.

According to a statement from the Court of Auditors, this foundation of the state public sector – which is dedicated to international cooperation in matters of administration and public policies – presents “non-compliance with contract regulations, certain deficiencies in compliance with personnel regulations and some breaches in terms of transparency and equality”.

It indicates that it has audited the years 2020 and 2021 and in them “the FIAPP formalized a total of 349 contracts worth 83 million euros in addition to another 455 smaller contracts for an amount of 4 million.” “Among the breaches of the Law 9/2017 of Sector Contracts noted in various contracts include the lack of guarantee that the contract had been awarded to the offer with the best quality-price ratio, the non-requirement of a definitive financial guarantee, the lack of accreditation of financial solvency and of the successful bidders, failure to justify receipt of the service or supply, and in the case of minor contracts, improper divisions.

This State oversight body assures that it has had to analyze what was happening, “mainly due to the delays registered in the rendering of its annual accounts.” It is surprising that in a foundation chaired by the head of the Government’s economic apparatus, “the delay with respect to the legal deadlines was 528 days in fiscal year 2020 and 338 in 2021. The report confirms that the main reason for the delays was the disorderly and poor accounting application change process since 2018”.

Calviño has chaired the FIIAP since 2021 and the main executive is the director, Anna Terrón, since 2018.

Furthermore, “in terms of personnel, the Court has detected that the FIIAPP exceeded the limits established for the hiring of temporary personnel in 2021.” Likewise, it provides data that contrasts with Calviño’s usual discourse on gender equality: “The audit concludes that the salary gap between genders is 47%. This gap is influenced by the positions of personnel designated by other public administrations to carrying out projects. These positions, which are located in the higher remuneration segments, fall mostly to men.”

The Court of Auditors approves, however, the accounts, but concludes by urging the Government to “improve the management and internal control systems and procedures” because “deficiencies have been observed in the planning and programming and measurement systems of the results obtained in its compliance and in the management of the projects it executes”.

The report coincides with the fact that Judge María de los Ángeles Lorenzo-Cáceres, who is investigating the ‘Mediator case’, is investigating four FIIAP contracts in the plot of former socialist deputy Juan Bernardo Fuentes Curbelo, better known as Tito Berni, for some projects in the Sahel.

Calviño assured last spring that he had ordered an internal investigation at FIIAP and disassociated his institution from this plot.

The Court of Auditors “concludes that the FIIAPP did not carry out control actions in the audited period in the area of ​​contracting and the technical and economic management of projects, precisely the area in which, according to the results obtained in the Court’s audit, it was more necessary to apply internal control and review procedures”.

For these reasons, the Court of Auditors recommends that the FIIAPP “intensify controls in compliance with contractual regulations, as well as develop internal project management regulations”, “improve the processes of the accounting information system” and “strengthen its internal control system”.

A FIIAP spokesperson denied irregularities to this newspaper. He expressed “surprise at the harshness of the statement from the Court of Accounts”, because, in his opinion, “the discrepancies on the contracting regulations are of a technical nature and differences of interpretation.” He stressed that, nevertheless, “the accounts have been approved.”