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

Adaptive surfing, part II: The story of Dean Bushby
sports
126 views
sports
126 views

Adaptive surfing, part II: The story of Dean Bushby

Ellen Zoe Golden - May 22, 2018

A three-part look at adaptive surfing in Costa Rica. Read Part I here to learn how a Central Pacific coach is…

Costa Rica launches Pride Connection network
Human rights
154 views
Human rights
154 views

Costa Rica launches Pride Connection network

Elizabeth Lang - May 22, 2018

As Costa Rica continues to grapple with the disagreements about marriage equality and gender identity that dominated the second round…

Costa Rica at a glance: top news from the past week
The Alvarado Administration
188 views
The Alvarado Administration
188 views

Costa Rica at a glance: top news from the past week

The Tico Times - May 21, 2018

Newly inaugurated Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado is closing in on two weeks on the job. Here are some of…