John D Espiney
public entities made transfers to foundations that did not respond to the Census of 2012 and with the proposed termination.
Dozens of public bodies of central and local administration have made transfers to the margins of the law for foundations in the amount of approximately 142,8 million euros.
according To the data of 2014 of the Inspection General of Finance (IGF), 40 foundations have not fulfilled the transparency obligations of the law (condition of access to public support) in the amount of 113,3 million euros.
There were 17 entities that have transferred 22.8 million euros in aid without the necessary prior opinion of the secretary of State for Public Administration. Also, in 52 municipalities have moved 6.4 million to foundations without the obligatory reporting to the IGF.
The main body of the inspection of the State detected still transfers to the six foundations that did not respond to the census mandatory and proposed termination on the value of 338 thousand euros.
Confronted by Live Money with this information, the minister of the Presidency and Administrative reform, Maria Manuel Leitão Marques, began by responding that this “is a question that has to be ascertained”. “The greater part of the situations of irregularities, as far as I know, should not be the case of foundations not reported, but cases of lack of the opinion of the IGF, which is required for the subsidies to be assigned, or situations that have to do with the non-publication of the corporate bodies.”
Already the advisor to the Ministry of Finance began by emphasizing that “the information provided refers to the year 2013″. And ensured, then, that “in the context of the work carried out by the IGF have been made to recommendations of the public entities involved in carrying out the regularization of the situations, as well as were presented the legislative proposals which aimed to introduce greater rigor and discipline to the budget. These proposals were the object of “seen” and not approval by the SEAP at the time (2014)”. And no more said about this matter.
Regularize the “illegal”
The Government wants to “regularize” the situation of foundations that do not responded to Census 2012. “It’s not about compromising the credibility that, in 2012, it was intended to print to the universe of foundation, but rather to return the word to those who place themselves at the service of social interest (…) and shown to deserve the commitment of this government to give them more of a chance”, explained yesterday the minister of the Presidency in an event organized by the Portuguese Centre of Foundations (CPF).
At stake are about 200 foundations that did not respond to the census carried out in 2012 and remain in business. And contrary to what it was supposed to, some even received financial support from public entities.
The Law n. oº 1/2012 – that approved the holding of the census and the consequent process of evaluation of the universe of foundation – already provided for penalties for “lack or incompleteness of the responses to the questionnaire and the provision of documentation by the foundations”.
Because they were not applied? “The penalties provided for in Law n. oº 1/2012, have been applied by the Council of Ministers Resolution (RCM) n. oº º13-A/2013, of 8 march, and have been maintained by the Laws of the State Budget of 2014, 2015 and 2016,” said Maria Manuel Leitão Marques.
THE RCM mentioned was the one that approved the final decisions to apply to foundations participants and assessed in the census, having established that in relation to the “193 foundations identified as non-responders to the census, will be subject to the provisions of the State Budget law for 2013 should still be ensured, within the scope of regulation to produce for the record-number of foundations, the non-assignment of registration number for obtaining any public financial support”.
indeed, the laws that have passed the EO 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 determine the prohibition of “any transfers to foundations that do not have accessed to the census”. Despite these standards, the fact is that the IGF has found a set of irregularities and illegalities.
Questioned about whether the bodies that have given these supports and the foundations that were given were, in some way, penalised, the minister referred the matter to the Finance, that is who has the jurisdiction over “the control of the expenditure of the State”.
Opinion of Counsel
The minister of the Presidency requested an opinion of the Advisory Council of Foundations (CCF) “about the measures to adopt in relation to the foundations which, at the date of the completion of the Census, have not filed response to the questionnaire”.
In its opinion sent to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, the authority argues that “only by legislative will be able to make their way of derogation, by providing such foundations an appropriate period of time to undertake to comply with the registration obligations and provision of information”.
“Given that the Framework Law already enshrines the requirement to their registration, an option would be to regulate this provision in the sense of mobilizing the foundations and bodies of the Public Administration responsible to undertake the updating and completion of their registration,” reads the opinion, dated the 28th of July.
“The existence and preservation of a record duly updated of the foundations provide an immediate knowledge of the structure of such a nature that guarnece the country,” concludes the CFP.
Already there are more foundations than in 2012
The number of foundations in Portugal today is higher than recorded in 2012. At the time, the census carried out has concluded that a list of 800 bodies had 401 foundations can be evaluated, 174 of which is social solidarity.
Of the 227 remaining, were immediately evaluated 190 that had gotten 37 that, in a first moment, were considered not evaluable due to insufficient information. Were still identified 235 foundations that did not respond to the census, 42 of which social solidarity.
as Well, and in a universe of 423 foundations, the government has not “stirred” in 98, and made proposals of extinction, reduction of funding or cancellation of public utility in relation to 132, being that the extinctions were little more than a dozen.
according To the accounting of the Cash to the listings published on the website of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, between 2013 and 2016 have been recognized with 33 new foundations, of which eight were linked to Private Social Solidarity Institutions (IPSS).
A number that is already superior to the extinctions determined in 2013. At the time the government proposed the extinction of 27 more bodies under the purview of universities, municipalities and regional governments, which eventually fails the intent of the executive.
The minister of the Presidency revealed yesterday that since the entry into force of the Framework Law of Foundations, in 2012, they entered the Presidency of the Council of Ministers 74 new requests for recognition of private foundations, and about 300 requests for amendments to bylaws.
Social Security Data indicate that at the end of 2015 had already 220 foundations of social solidarity, seven more than in the previous year and 30 more than at the end of 2011. According to the IGF, 35 of a list of 178 did not have any beneficiary, patient, or recipient.