Bernal, Quotidian kleptocratic perks

travel expenses
OECD graphic, altered by The Panama News.

Speaking of travel expenses…

by Miguel Antonio Bernal V.

The plutocratic kleptocracy that the ruling joint criminal enterprise has imposed on us now allows us to show — more than before — the deformation of our society.

Determined opponents of citizen participation, the heads of the executive branch, with their cronies from the legislative and judicial branches, continue to open avenues for the mediocracy to become empowered. Today we find ourselves subjected to charlatans who have become “experts” in distorting the truth through self-censorship. It’s mandatory but presented as a demonstration of cunning.

Thus we see how illegalities and illegitimacies abound more and more in the field of public administration, one of them being per diem. I reproduce for my readers something from my consultation, on the subject of per diems, with an expert in the field, the university professor and former administrative vice-rector of the University of Panama, Federico Ardila Acuña, Master in Public Management, professor of the specialty for 32 years and with more than 20 years of experience in the public sector:

It turns out that in theory and in Panamanian law, the per diems constitute the prior or subsequent recognition, made in favor of a Public Servant for the expenses that he must incur — which corresponds to him — and is due to the need he has to move outside of the assigned official workplace and stipulated in his appointment and assignment of functions, either in fulfillment of these or to attend to related matters or assignments and special assignments. The per diems contemplate transportation, lodging and food expenses, exclusively, as traditionally established by the Panamanian budget legislation.They are covered for missions abroad and within the country.

The recognition and payment for consequence is for each mission. They are NOT an add-on to the salary of the position, so they are not part of the salary. For example, the permanent payment of per diems to police commissioners and sub-commissioners is ILLEGAL.

Day by day, the outrages that are perpetrated in the name of travel expenses, as well as the improper allocation of the same with the sponsorship of the comptroller and other competent authorities, is a burden that weighs heavily and adds to the social inequality that erodes our society.




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