Funes Administration Uncovers Corruption From Previous Administration and Plans to Curb Unnecessary Spending in Coming Years

Since taking office on June 1, 2009, the new administration in El Salvador has been uncovering corrupt practices in the government institutions of the past administration. President Funes announced on Friday, June 12 that the Centro Nacional de Registro (CNR) had the most irregularities and incidences of corruption found under ARENA administrations.

The Diario Co-Latino reported that government records show that within the CNR there were 29 “ghost” positions that cost the government $74,000 monthly in salaries, a total of $7 billion since the Saca Administration created the positions.

Other institutions with reported anomalies include the Ministry of Public Works (MOP), Justice and Security, and the Ministry of the Interior, among others. Because of the irregularities found, the president plans to create a presidential commission to investigate incidences of corruption.

The president also recently announced an austerity plan aimed at cutting unnecessary spending among public institutions. One example President Funes gave of how they will save money in the ministries was to be more frugal with the use of government vehicles. Publicity costs were also mentioned as a way to cut costs, and President Funes said that he planned to use publicity only on important measures or program announcements.

A recent poll found that the president has the support of 71.8% of Salvadorans, while former President Saca ended his term with 55.2%. President Funes campaigned on a message of change, and his recent efforts to look into the corrupt practices and unnecessary spending of the past administration seem to signal that he is acting on this agenda.

His efforts to prevent unnecessary spending and end corruption in the government are signs that the President is being proactive in addressing the current financial crisis, and that he is changing the way that public institutions operate.

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