Local October 23, 2017 | 12:07 pm

‘Bottles’ cost Dominican taxpayers US$812.0M this year: study

Juan Pablo Duarte govt. bldg., Origin of the moniker, 'bottle' for its semblance to a bottle crate.

Santo Domingo.- In the 2017 Budget, the government spends around RD$39.0 billion (million) in salaries for people who don’t serve any function, known as “bottles.”

The Oxfam study “Wanted: resources to guarantee rights” estimates that over RD$90.0 billion of taxpayer s money will be wasted this year, or 13% of the total government spending.

Oxfam analyzed five areas in which the government wastes 2.5 percent of GDP: the political use of the public payroll (“bottles”), corruption, entities with duplicate functions, inactive councils and commissions, politicking with institutions and excessive spending in advertising and propaganda.

The “bottles” account for 53% of the amount poorly spent, determined by comparing the Dominican payroll with regional standards.

“If the level of public employment is examined by reference to the number the country’s inhabitants, the Dominican Republic registers 58,313.5 public employees per million inhabitants in 2015. The average of the region is 48,351 public employees per million inhabitants and 45,462.6 in the 5 countries of Central America and the Caribbean.”

Rosa Cañete, one of the authors of the study, also noted the difficulty to access the public payroll to audit it.


The study found that corruption’s annual cost of RD$26.0 billion, equals 0.7% of GDP in 2017. “This volume of resources is 3.5 times higher than the budget dedicated this year to initial education. The report identifies indications of duplicity of functions in at least 77 public institutions: 34 sectoral units and 43 councils / commissions.”

Oxfam adds that it’s an exploratory study that warrants that each case be studied in depth. The savings would be almost RD$13.0 billion equivalent to 0.4% of GDP.

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