San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Comptroller Announces Audit of Road Funds

COMPTROLLER General Alex Solís,alongside new Minister of Public Worksand Transport Ovidio Pacheco, on Mondayannounced an upcoming audit of theNational Roadway Council (CONAVI),which is responsible for the country’s oftencriticizedroads and is part of the Ministryof Public Works and Transport (MOPT).Both Pacheco and Solís said they didnot have any concrete suspicions of irregularitiesin CONAVI, and merely want toensure the organization is using publicfunds in the most efficient matter.“We want to ensure the transparency ofthe government,” Pacheco said.Solís added the audit is “preventivemedicine” in an effort to avoid an “autopsy”in the future.The audit will evaluate whetherCONAVI is efficiently budgeting governmentresources for state road projects.CONAVI receives most of its funding fromtaxes on gasoline.In addition, in October 2002, the governmentreceived an $18.3 million loanfrom the German Reconstruction Bank forthe rehabilitation and maintenance of roadsin the poorest areas of the country, accordingthe MOPTWeb site.Solís said it is a fundamental job of thecomptroller to ensure public funds are spentcorrectly.In addition to managing the NationalRoad Fund, CONAVI plans the country’shighway infrastructure projects and executesthe projects through contracts withprivate firms.The audit will evaluate the institution’scontract policies for road construction andthe capabilities of its internal auditor.During the audit, which is expected to takefive to six months, the audit team of sevenwill also review complaints presented toCONAVI.

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