In the last few hours, a guideline was released from the Presidency of the Republic signed by President Gustavo Petro, which establishes new changes within the government’s ‘Austerity Plan’.
There a series of reductions are planned for spending and “optimization of resources”. In more than 30 points the Government raises a reduction and tighter control with which he hopes to save 4 billion pesos in four years.
Some of the points that stand out the most are those linked to the hiring, per diems, vacations, security schemes and other matters involving directors.
For the case of Contracts for the provision of services and management support, the guideline is that they be given only if they are “strictly necessary”; either because of the volume of work or the need for specialized knowledge. In these cases, the hiring will have to be duly justified.
“(…) The need for these contracts must be justified in detail, case by case, in the pre-contractual documents, among others, with process figures, number of projects, monthly management, reasons for the complexity of the service to be contracted and the time during which this support will be required, which in no case will have a permanent vocation“, the document points out.
Likewise, within the strategies of the Presidency, it is proposed that there is no subcontracting for the provision of services and, also, a control for the contracts of studies and designs since the entities of the State will have to verify the pertinence.
“Before contracting studies and/or designs, each entity will verify if it has other studies with the same or similar object (this can be determined considering the scope and deliverables of the studies)“, says the document.
The plan, moreover, points to austerity in operating and investment expenses, giving a ban on vacation compensation. In this sense, it would be the heads of human talent who are in charge of “planning vacation periods for all plant personnel from the beginning of each annulment”.
Accordingly, there will have to be a complete compliance with the annual vacation plan and officials would not need to be compensated for their vacation time.
Along with this, the entities would have to justify the trips they are going to make and the reason for do not use virtual media. Through this measure, it is expected that there will be a reduction in unnecessary expenses and have a stricter control of travel expenses.
“For ticket supply contracts, the Reverse Auction will always be used, minimizing administration or management costs, and if it is in force, the price framework agreement“says the presidential directive.
In the previous government, led by Iván Duque, a controversy began over a decree with which new members of the National Security Council would have lifetime benefits such as security schemes, armored vans and escorts.
In this government it is sought that the official vehicles are only assigned to management level officials and “exceptionally with prior justification, to advisory level officials.”
In turn, it speaks of austerity in advertising by prohibiting the use of public resources or multilateral credits that are used for publicity events or promotional publications. Along with this, the reduction of negative effects on the environment, which highlights the importance of saving and taking advantage of resources.
It points out that the security schemes will also have to be justified with exposure and risk level studies issued by the competent authorities.
About leases, the document states that it has to be verified if there are offices of other entities that can serve before allocating resources for it. “In order to reduce expenses for area leases, action plans will be advanced for the implementation of remote work, in accordance with the guidelines of the Ministry of Labor,” he adds.
Save 4 billion pesos
Given this directive, Mauricio Lizcano, director of the Administrative Department of the PresidencyDapre, said that it will apply to all entities of the Executive Branch that belong to the national public sector.
Also, the senior official explained that the savings sought is at least 4 billion in the next four years. He also that the document contemplates a strong fight against corruption through measures such as the 30% reduction in all service provision contracts of the National Government.
He recalled that in the last two years these contracts have cost around 4.5 billion pesos.
The savings, finally, would be used for investment, according to Lizcano.