After the complaints that have been generated in recent months about the irregular situation of the Panamanian Sports Institute (Pandeportes), on Wednesday it was informed through a prosecutor that the Panamanian Comptroller General, through a preliminary audit, identified a high sum of money that was handled irregularly between July 2014 and July 2018.
"In this first phase of the audit, findings were identified that indicate that approximately more than 9 million dollars were not reported," said the Comptroller General, Federico Humbert, in a document that recorded this expense equivalent to about 100 disbursements by the institute and therefore, they were forced to investigate the entire process.
This scandal appeared in the public arena after several Panamanian journalists complained referring to the possible vacuum present in the agency, which between sports materials and aid programs presented invoices and high-cost activities, however, none of the resources reached the indicated parties and now, according to Humbert himself, the Department of Internal Audit of Pandeportes must face the event that is being presented.
Individuals or legal entities, provincial sports leagues, federations and sports organizations, appear among the recipients of the many disbursements that have occurred in irregular operations that are being investigated by the Comptroller, with a document that "contains evidence on the lack of administrative controls and the omission to review the reports that had to be delivered by sports organizations that received public funds through Pandeportes", according to EFE.
The board of directors of the agency has put itself at the disposal of the investigation, as the case of Alberto Guerra, deputy director of Pandeportes who said that "they are free to make all the revisions they want. At this time preliminary investigations are made of everything, so we will have to wait to see the results."
On behalf of those affected, one of the voices authorized on the issue, Irving Saladino (Olympic champion in 2008) indicated on Tuesday that it was necessary to take action on the issue, so he exhorted "the comptroller to assume his role. The comptroller must audit all these federations that are involved in this scandal of the national sport."
With a view to host the 2022 Central American and Caribbean Games, Panamanian athletes have not had the opportunity to train properly and the necessary care. "We will host the Central American and Caribbean Games and we have no results at all. Our athletes do not even have a preparation plan for these games. Even what the government promised, was not fulfilled," Saladino added.
Comptroller Humbert has commented that the Pandeportes audits will be done "invoice by invoice", while Camilo Amado, president of the Panamanian Olympic Committee (COP), said that "there has been some state bureaucracy to dispose of the funds to fulfill the commitments of the Central American and Caribbean Sports Organization (Odecabe) and so that the Organizing Committee of the 2022 Central American and Caribbean Games can operate. So far they have not received any funds."