The General Meeting of the public municipal company “Santiago del Teide Gestion” has been called off again today and must be reconvened for the third time in less than a month, due to irregularities in budgets and accounts presented for approval.
In a press release Canary Coalition opposition party spokesperson Jonathan Fumero accused the ruling PP party of “creative accounting” and improvisation in municipal affairs.
Even the previous board meeting, which was convened for the 27 July, was actually after the legal deadline for approval of company accounts and was even later in being made public.
That meeting had to be suspended on a technicality because the governing body, the PP, had “forgotten” the minutes.
Today’s meeting approved the 2011 accounts by the votes of seven members of the local government.
However, they could not push through approval of the 2012 budget and expenditure accounts as the local council auditor, who is responsible for legal compliance, detected errors and warned that they could not be approved by law.
The PP councillors had no choice but to convene yet another board meeting, the third in less than a month, in order to draw up and present credible and legally compliant accounts for this year, which is already over half way spent.
Fumero, said the proposed staffing budget must be addressed as it far exceeds previous years’ expenditure for that area and current state legislation specifically prevents local authorities from increasing spending on staff.
He went on “it is incomprehensible to me, not merely not to comply with the law, but how staffing costs can be increased when at least one employee of the company has retired and has not been replaced”.
Fumero highlighted another point, which although not strictly illegal, was at best ill advised; the company’s purchase of shares in Banca Civica amounting to € 11,685.56.
This decision was made by the Board of Directors without the consent of the AGM. “How can a public company that has struggled to meet their payroll be allowed the luxury of investing thousands to buy shares in a bank that today are worth 40% less than they cost. “
The opposition CC party stressed that it does not want to close the company, just ensure that it be managed efficiently to provide an optimal service to local residents.