Wednesday, October 20

The settlement of allowances in the ministries is usually paid by transfer


Madrid

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The procedure for payment and settlement of expenses and allowances arising from service commissions in the Administration is highly valued. If an official or high-ranking official has to travel outside of his place of work to fulfill his obligations, he has the right to have the professional expenses contingent on this trip be reimbursed. And this can be done in two ways. The person affected, be it a common official or a minister, You can ask for the money you estimate you will spend to be advanced or you can assume the expenses and later, upon returning, that they are paid prior justification of the same.

This is explained by the Professional Association of the Superior Body of State Auditors and Auditors, who are in charge of checking in the Administration that expenses such as those that, for example, the trip to the Canary Islands of the Minister of Transport, José Luis Ábalos, are perfectly justified to avoid irregularities. From its generic explanation, it is possible to extract elements that are discordant with the clarifications given by the portfolio holder’s environment.

From the Association they indicate that, in most cases, the settlement of expenses presented after the trip to be reimbursed is made through a bank transfer to the account of this worker. Sources collected by ABC, however, assure that there are occasions, when the travel expenses are justified a posteriori, in which the advisor Koldo García receives the settlement of the expenses in cash.

At this point another gap can be opened in the argument with which Ábalos’s environment is defended. From the Auditors Association they also point out that the settlements are made personally. That is, the expenses that the minister presents as a result of his institutional activity will be returned to the minister; while those presented by the advisor will be reimbursed to the advisor. In the explanations collected by ABC, and presented in previous editions, it is not clear if the expenses of the advisers who accompanied the minister were all borne by the head of Transportation. The auditors point out that each official must present separately the breakdown and justification of their expenses.

Similarly, when the minister and his advisers request the money for official travel in advance, they must do so individually, each with their estimate of spending. When they return, they must bring proof of payment to calculate the difference and re-enter the surplus money, if any, into the ministry’s coffers. When an advance is made, the auditors specify, the money is usually transferred to the account of each worker before traveling, although it is true that on some exceptional occasions it can be paid in cash with the money from the fixed box, if it is enabled.

In no movement within the national territory could Ábalos have paid with a card issued in his name from the ministry. Law 3/2015, of March 30, regulating the exercise of the high position of the General Administration of the State, put an end to this form of payment to avoid abuses. However, the minister’s advisor could have made the payments with a personal credit card without prejudice to the fact that the expenses would have been reimbursed later. As this newspaper published yesterday, former ministers consulted called “abnormal” resorting to payment in cash. In addition, the PSOE also indicated that it does not make advances, despite the version supported by the testimonies collected by ABC in this case.

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