Comptroller: $28 Too Much for a Meal

January 13, 2006

SENDING the message that public officials do not need to spend ¢14,000 ($28) each to eat during management meetings, the Comptroller General’s Office suspended the food budget of the Board of Directors of the Agricultural Development Institute (IDA), the daily Al Día reported.

 

IDA had proposed a budget of ¢11.6 billion ($23 million) for 2006, including ¢6 million ($12,000) for catering, which the comptroller estimated to equate to each functionary consuming ¢14,000 worth of food a session. The comptroller considered the amount to be “abundant” and “inappropriate,” the daily reported.

 

With the same amount, 155 children could eat in school lunchrooms, where lunch costs run ¢90 ($0.18) per student per day, according to the report. IDA, which sells land to poor Costa Ricans at highly subsidized prices, has six executives who hold 72 meetings a year.

 

The comptroller also questioned the IDA budget regarding aguinaldos (the mandatory Christmas bonus equal to one month’s salary), pharmaceutical products, kitchen and cleaning materials, guards, automobile purchases, computer equipment and new buildings construction.

 

IDA is also under investigation by the comptroller, the Prosecutor’s Office and the President’s Cabinet for allegations that the institution’s employees gave 100 hectares of public land (meant for poor Costa Ricans) to one another and their families (TT, Nov. 25, Dec. 2, 2005, Jan. 6).

 

On Tuesday, Hermes Navarro, secretary of the President’s Cabinet, said the government has opened proceedings against various IDA officials in connection with the allegations, but said their names would not be released until after the parties have been notified.

 

You may be interested

Strong winds cause three deaths in Costa Rica, one in El Salvador
Weather
1477 views
Weather
1477 views

Strong winds cause three deaths in Costa Rica, one in El Salvador

AFP - December 10, 2017

Three people have died in Costa Rica, includiing two Swiss tourists, and one in El Salvador as a result of…

6 camouflaged Costa Rican creatures you probably haven’t seen
Environment and Wildlife
2201 views
Environment and Wildlife
2201 views

6 camouflaged Costa Rican creatures you probably haven’t seen

Lindsay Fendt - December 9, 2017

The jungle can be a scary place, and even for some of the fiercest of Costa Rica’s creatures, sometimes the…

National Geographic-Lindblad Expeditions ship makes first visit to Osa Peninsula
Cruises
1975 views
Cruises
1975 views

National Geographic-Lindblad Expeditions ship makes first visit to Osa Peninsula

The Tico Times - December 8, 2017

National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions touched down for the first time on Costa Rica's renowned Osa Peninsula this week for…