Anti-Corruption Institute wins judicial process against the government to gain access to contracts for procurement of Covid-19 vaccines

On 21 May, 2021, the Administrative Court of Cundinamarca notified the Anti-Corruption Institute of its decision to order the national government to deliver, within a peremptory term of three business days, copies of the different contracts signed with pharmaceutical companies for the purchase of the Covid-19 vaccines during the pandemic. All information will be made public.

The Anti-Corruption Institute filed an appeal before the National Unit for Disaster Risk Management (UNGRD)

On 2 February 2021, the Anti-Corruption Institute filed the insistence appeal before the National Unit for Disaster Risk Management (UNGRD) requesting greater transparency regarding contracts for theh procurement of vaccines against COVID-19. The request was made in light of the national government’s refusal to publish contracts related to their Covid division.

The Anti-Corruption Institute participates in the public hearing in Congress with regard to surveillance and monitoring of vaccination against Covid-19 in Colombia

On 26 January 2021, Camilo Enciso, Director of the Anti-Corruption Institute, participated in his capacity as a member of civil society in the public hearing with the Fifth Commission of the Senate of the Republic on “Surveillance and monitoring of vaccination against Covid-19 in Colombia” led by: Guillermo García, President of the Fifth Commission and member of the Liberal Party; Maritza Martinez from the U Party; Jorge E. Londoño of the Green Alliance Party; and Jorge Enrique Robledo from the Dignity Party. In this meeting, Enciso demanded transparency in the management of resources and contracts, accountability and honesty in the data published by the National Government with regard to vaccination against Covid-19 in Colombia.

The Anti-Corruption Institute joins other organizations to create oversight committee to monitor Covid-19 spending

The Anti-Corruption Institute, alongside other civil society organizations and representatives from academia, formed an Oversight for Integrity and Transparency (VITA) committee to monitor the management of resources by the National Government during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Some of the requests presented by the group include:

  • Publication of the real or final beneficiaries of the legal entities who have been contracted using resources from the special funds created for the pandemic or those contracted in the framework of the public state of emergency.
  • Publication of the confidentiality agreements drawn up for the negotiation of the purchase of vaccines against Covid-19.
  • Publication of the conditions imposed by pharmaceutical companies for the sale of vaccines against Covid-19.
  • Public and open justification of how the publication of information related to the negotiation and purchase of vaccines might affect national security or public health, as the stated by the National Government.

• Publication of the detailed vaccination plan with the precise definition of (i) the anticipated duration of the vaccination program, (ii) the roles and responsibilities of the different stakeholders involved, and (iii) the physical, human, administrative, financial and institutional resources required.

The Anti-Corruption Institute filed a disciplinary complaint against the Minister of Health and the Minister of Finance before the Office of the Attorney General of the Nation

On 8 January 2021, the Anti-Corruption Institute filed a disciplinary complaint against Colombia’s Minister of Health, Fernando Ruiz Gómez, and the Minister of Finance and Public Credit, Alberto Carrasquilla, for alleged breach of duty in not making public details of the contracts signed by their entities and the special funds they manage, including the Emergency Mitigation Fund.

The Dolphin Vaccine

The Director of the Anti-Corruption Institute denounced that the political group led by Miguel Uribe Turbay has received sizeable contracts from the Covid delegation at the National Unit for Disaster Risk Management (UNGRD), which is managed by the national government. Officials linked to Miguel Uribe Turbay’s campaign enjoy millionaire contracts as part of the official fight against the pandemic.

“Multi-purpose contractors”, another side to the pandemic

Colombian national newspaper El Espectador published details of the investigation led by the Anti-Corruption Institute into the risks to procurement and contracting during the Covid-19 public health emergency. Their findings revealed that 30% of the contractors hired to meet the demand for goods and services to mitigate the impact of the pandemic are classified as “multi-purpose organizations”, that is to say, companies that do “everything”, but might lack the experience, capacity and suitability to provide specific services.