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Cartagena City Council opens file to Lhicarsa (09/07/2020)

| Gives audience to the concession company to explain alleged irregularities in the provision of the cleaning and garbage collection service to the Lhicarsa company detected by the municipal inspectors | The Cartagena City Council has opened a file for alleged irregularities in the provision of the cleaning and garbage collection service to the Lhicarsa company.This was announced this Thursday by the mayor, Ana Belén Castejón, at a press conference in which she was accompanied by the deputy mayor, Noelia Arroyo, and the deputy mayor, Manuel Padín.The Lhicarsa joint venture is owned by FCC as a majority partner.

After detecting, last January, that FCC could be providing services to third parties using trucks destined for the City Council contract, Castejón explained, the local government gave instructions to investigate these suspicions, which allowed detecting various irregularities."One of the main commitments of this Government is to intensify surveillance of concession companies to improve service to citizens," recalled the mayor.Thus, the first mayor has detailed the first alleged irregularities detected, such as the fact that FCC has been using machinery from the municipal contract to transfer waste collected to FCC Medio Ambiente customers to the municipal landfill, and that this waste, which could exceed 9,000 tons and , as the municipal inspectors suspect, have not paid the corresponding fees.Thus, the mayor has detailed at a press conference, the investigations carried out by the Consistory have revealed that part of the waste transferred to the treatment plant is pruning that could have been entering the landfill while FCC was the holder of the municipal contract for gardens, while another part of this waste would come from the contract with the Polígono de Santa Ana for waste collection.

The estate has its own collection system and contracts with FCC to collect and manage the waste, but the waste allegedly entered the landfill in Lhicarsa vehicles and did not pay fees.These investigations, explained the mayor, were reflected in various reports at the end of May and have been translated into three decisions by the municipal government.

Thus, on the one hand, last June the Lhicarsa accounts were not approved by the representatives of the City Council on the Board of Directors.

"We could not give the go-ahead to the company's accounts without first clarifying all these circumstances," said the mayor.In addition, a file has been opened by the Tax Management Office, to demand from the company the entry of unpaid fees and, finally, it has been decided to open the file for the irregular management of the cleaning and garbage collection contract that it approves Today the Governing Board, based on the technical and legal reports derived from the investigation, and in order to give the company the opportunity to provide information and explain or contradict the alleged irregularities.After the opening of the file, the company will be heard and the municipal technicians will verify their allegations.

With all the information, conclusions will be issued and, based on them, the municipal government will make the relevant decisions, explained Ana Belén Castejón."In the event that breaches of contract are confirmed, the most extreme measure would be to terminate the contract, but there are other formulas, such as the intervention of the company," said the mayor.Specifically, the intervention of the company allows the City Council, as the owner of the service, to take the reins of the company temporarily until possible breaches are clarified.The mayor has shown her commitment to transparency and her willingness to clarify these alleged irregularities.

"We are not guided by a hobby towards any company, but by the rigor in the control of public services and public money," he said.“Our objective is that the money paid by Cartagena to have clean Cartagena is spent on cleaning Cartagena.

We want Cartagena clean and a company that meets its obligations, "he stressed."Lhicarsa is a company that provides essential services to Cartagena and employs hundreds of Cartagena; for this reason what this Government wants is for the company to function as the people of Cartagena deserve ”.BACKGROUNDAs the mayor has explained, according to municipal reports, in November 2015 the company asked the Cartagena City Council for permission to cancel the seven trucks that after they have been doing services for other contracts.At least since that date, presumably, they have been using irregularly, but it has only been possible to verify since January 2016 because work parts are preserved from that date in which it is verified that those vehicles no longer worked in the collection municipal, but if they entered the landfill with waste.The company, for its part, has acknowledged that it has used trucks from the City Council in other contracts because it already announced in October 2015, the date on which the then mayor, José López, was a councilor for Infrastructures, who wanted to cancel them for the service to the City Council.

Source: Ayuntamiento de Cartagena

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