With Colmenares, ASF audits recover 84% less money – El Sol de México

The management of David Colmenares Páramo in front of the Superior Audit of the Federation (ASF) has presented an increase in the number of audits carried out. However, it has also been distinguished by a decrease in the recovery of money for the country.

According to information from the ASF public accounts, from 2016 to 2022 (last year with complete information), Money recoveries operated by the institution decreased by 84 percent.

In 2016, the ASF, through audits in which it detected possible damage to the treasury, achieved a recovery of public resources equivalent to 14,229 million pesos. On the other hand, for the 2022 public account, it only managed to recover 2,218 million pesos.

With David Colmenares at the helm – he joined as head in March 2018 – the ASF has seen an increase in the number of audits carried out in the country, also covering a greater number of audited entities.

An analysis of the various public accounts carried out by The Sun of Mexico reveals that in 2022, 2,153 audits were carried out on 1,119 entities, unprecedented figures in the history of the ASF. QBy 2023, 2,258 audits were scheduled, which represents 20 percent more than those carried out in 2016, when Juan Manuel Portal Martínez was in charge.

Another difference is the number of audits carried out on Executive Branch agencies; that is, to institutions belonging to the presidential cabinet. In the 2016 Public Account it is reported that 468 audits were carried out on this power, while in 2022 382 were carried out.

In the Judicial Branch, audits also decreased: 10 audits were carried out on this power in 2016, while four were carried out in 2022.

The administration of David Colmenareswho took office in March 2018, has been accused by former employees of carrying out harmful practices within the ASF, including self-censorship or removal of audits.

The accusations were made by Agustín Caso Raphael, a member of the performance audits area. In a letter that circulated after his removal, Caso accused David Colmenares, head of the ASF, of carrying out a “capture” of the institution.

According to the public complaint, the ASF has neglected the fundamental principles of separation of powersas well as a decrease in autonomy and independence in the oversight function.

Other auditors, such as Dora Muna Buchahin and Gerardo Lozano Dubernard, have reported irregularities in the management of Colmenares. The latter faced a strong rebuke from the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, after preparing an audit that estimated the costs of canceling the New Mexico International Airport (NAIM).

A new practice has even been made public in which ASF sends draft reports to government agencies for reviewresulting in a significant reduction in observations and amounts of reported irregularities.

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To replace Caso, Colmenares announced Arely Gómez as the new special performance auditor. Gómez served within the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN), where she held the positions of Presentation Coordinator in the Second Chamber, General Secretary of the Presidency and Senior Official.

During the six-year term of Enrique Peña Nieto, he served as head of the defunct Attorney General’s Office (PGR).

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