Local March 8, 2016 | 4:08 pm

Immigration Agency joins long list of Dominican Govt. scandals

Immigration Agency joins long list of Dominican Govt.scandals

Santo Domingo.- Jose Ricardo’s tenure in the Immigration Agencyawarded lucrative contracts to a company in which he has a controlling stake,according to General Comptroller (CGR) documents cited by acento.com.do.

The two contracts awarded to the company Decasystems S.A,in 2011; one to buy and install computer software for accounting and administrativemanagement, and the other to pay maintenance on Immigration’s mainframe." acento.com.do reports.

The software cost RD$24.2 million, while service andmaintenance cost RD$400,000 per month, or RD$4.8 million per year.

Taveras signed both contracts on behalf of Immigration, andPedro Agosto Rodriguez Lopez, on behalf of the supplier company. Both figure asshareholders of the same firm.

In the National Taxpayers Registry of 2011, they appear asshareholders of Taveras’ company, followed by his partner Pedro Oscar RodríguezEstrella, Oscar Enrique Lirio Rodríguez, Julio Eduardo Guzmán Muñoz, PedroAugusto Rodríguez López, Yanet Altagracia Rodríguez López, José AugustoRodríguez López and José Augusto Rodríguez Sosa.

According to the computer software purchase contract, they onlyMulticómputos SRL and Decasystems .S.A., submitted technical and financialproposals, in which the company which resulted in "winners" are relatedto Taveras, a senior leader of the conservative minority party FNP, founded by prominentattorney Marino Vinicio Castillo (Vincho).

The Immigration Tender Committee document doesn’t explainthe details of the bid submitted by another company which competed, or who representedit in the alleged call for tenders.

Other complaints

In 2013 during Taveras’ tenure Immigration irregularlyconsumed RD$482 million outside the budget without the money passed through theState Unified Account, as the General Budget Law stipulates.

It also increased the fees for its services by 40%, throughthe process of regularizing the status of foreigners living illegally in theDominican Republic, affecting thousands of foreigners who require the service andhindering the Dominican Government’s official policy on migration issues.

During his tenure Taveras accumulated debts owed itsemployees also surpassed RD$80 million, paid by the airlines to Immigration forovertime hours for agency staff at airports.

Under Taveras Immigration also spent RD$79.8 million inexpenses, gifts, meals and drinks for its officials.

In Taveras’ first three years as director, Immigration spentRD$36.6 million in meals for officials: RD$15.2 million in 2011, more than RD$7.5million in 2012 and RD$13.2 million in 2013. The figures are in Immigration’sfinancial report for 2011, 2012 and 2013.

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