The Public Employment Service (SEPE) will take to the Prosecutor’s Office the sale of previous appointments to carry out procedures in the province of Barcelona, as confirmed by the agency ACN. The Ministry of Labor has learned that some users have paid third parties to obtain an appointment to carry out procedures at SEPE. At the moment, the Mossos are not investigating the events because they do not have a complaint from those affected or an order from the Prosecutor’s Office to do so.
The alert has been raised by the SEPE, the unions and the citizens themselves Affected people who, given the impossibility of obtaining an appointment online – the legal, free and planned route by the Administration – have resorted to third parties who offered the sale of previous appointments.
The problem has been detected basically in the city of Barcelona, and specifically in the Raval neighborhood, where there are phone booths that advertise the sale of previous appointments on posters. Some of the affected users have said that they bought their appointment in a laundry in the city center, between 5 and 80 euros for an appointment
The unions, for their part, suspected this irregular practice seeing that all the users who went one day to a SEPE office in Barcelona were from a municipality that did not belong to its geographical area. Officials serve anyone who has an appointment even if they do not live in the territory that in principle manages that office.
The president of the staff board of State officials in the province of Barcelona and SEPE worker, Miguel Ángel García, explains that the users themselves told them that they had paid from 5 to 80 euros to be able to have that appointment. Another later clue, García points out, was the repetition of the same emails “up to 20 times” in the list of the dozens of previous appointments that are granted each day.
“We also realized that a good part of these appointments requested with the repeated emails were canceled. And when that happens, availability is generated. We detected that on certain days the cancellations in offices equaled the number of citations.” And he adds: “These cancellations are the means they use later to sell the appointment.”
The way, a computer program
And how do those who are dedicated to the sale of appointments? This official believes that these people who access the subpoenas do so through a computer program that bypasses the security mechanism of the official SEPE website by which the Administration ensures that the plaintiff is a person and not a machine.
To hinder the operations of these groups that market with appointments, the SEPE offices decided not to “open appointments” at the same time, or to do so at unusual times such as 07:00 in the morning or on a Saturday.
García affirms that doing the management of processing an appointment for a third party is not illegal, but if a fictitious appointment is obtained using false data or with data from other people and then selling it “it enters a more delicate line” and a possible irregularity .
The problem, the collapse of the SEPE
“The shortage of appointments is causing them to be traded,” lamented García. “If we had a sufficient staff to handle the workload we have, we could serve more people,” he says. And he takes the opportunity to claim more staff: “Unemployment is growing, we have the problem of ertes with errors in payment that demand a response, people who do not charge and want to know why …. All are reasons that make it necessary for citations increase. ”
Currently, the SEPE offices in the regions of Barcelona are experiencing a situation of collapse that has caused widespread delays of up to three months in the processing of unemployment benefits that endanger users being able to complete the procedures on time.
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