Serveis Socials case: The consortium manager resigns after irregularities are detected

  • Reports from the Comptes Sindicatura and the General Intervention revealed by EL PERIÓDICO maintain that there were irregular contracts for 20 million euros in one year and payments of bonuses above the agreement and without justification

The manager of the Barcelona Social Services Consortium, Joan Uribe, has resigned from his position. He has been in charge of the social assistance entity until last week, although, according to official sources, he communicated his decision on October 22, after the publication in EL PERIÓDICO of the existence of irregular contracts of 20 million euros in a single year, bonuses to certain employees and accounting disruptions, as this newspaper has been able to confirm. The anomalies were detected between 2014 and 2019 by the Audit Office and the General Audit of the Generalitat. It was in May 2017 that Uribe received the first devastating report. “I found an administration with weaknesses and with a team that wanted to push forward & rdquor ;, he admitted.

Sources from the Department of Dret Socials confirmed to this newspaper the dismissal of Uribe as head of the consortium. He communicated his determination on October 22, ten days after the serious irregularities that had been committed in the entity were uncovered, especially at the time of his successor, Josep Pera (CiU), in 2014 and 2015. The same sources They argued that the manager of the consortium had made that decision in the summer and that it is “framed & rdquor; in “personal reasons & rdquor; and “in a question considered for a long time as a result of personal exhaustion linked to the management of the pandemic & rdquor ;.

Complaint to Antifraud

The head of human resources has temporarily taken over the management of the consortium, according to union sources. The Department of Drets Socials will now open a selection process to fill the vacancy, “guaranteeing transparency and attendance & rdquor ;, specified from the Generalitat. Uribe, according to some sources, had come to rectify some of the procedures that had been operating for years in the consortium, such as the excess of hand-hiring without advertising. A practice that was carried out in the middle of the financial crisis and cuts and that affected the money destined for the most needy: children under guardianship, people with disabilities or victims of sexist violence. CGT has announced that it plans to report shortly these anomalies before the Anti-fraud Office of Catalonia (OAC). When the irregularities came to light, the Department of Social Drets limited itself to opening an ex officio review to clarify the bonuses that some workers received.

The Consorci de Serveis Socials de Barcelona is a public entity created in 2006 and is in charge of specialized social services in the capital which, in the rest of Catalonia, are the responsibility of the Generalitat. It manages centers where sheltered minors live, flats for women victims of sexist violence and their children, residences for people with disabilities and occupational therapy centers. His presidency is held by the ‘minister’ of Social Rights, now Violant Cervera (JxC) and the vice-presidency falls on the person in charge of Social Rights of the Barcelona City Council, today Laura Pérez.

Hiring without advertising

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The 2014 Sindicatura de Comptes opinion mentions bad practices in hiring services. Specifically, this body indicates, there are contracts for the management of certain tasks that were carried out without publicity, transparency or public concurrence. That is to say, to finger. They did it using a category that is applicable when the awardee is the only one who can do that job. Of the 22 files analyzed, a total of 20, worth 22 million euros, were processed through this system, without including the legal justification for this exclusivity. This practice continued in later years. In addition, the audit reports denounce that Josep Pera, manager of the consortium from 2012 to 2017, breached the regulations because he signed contracting agreements when it was not his due.

The audits also specify that, at least in 2015, 2017 and 2019, the consortium paid almost one million euros in bonuses above the agreement and without justification, mainly to the heads of areas or departments. Thus, in 2015, the agency paid an extra remuneration of 352,379 euros; in 2017, 328,726, and in 2019, 256,000. These bonuses are specified with two remuneration concepts (“voluntary improvement & rdquor; and“ on account of the agreement & rdquor;), which neither appear in the salary tables, nor are they endorsed by the General Directorate of Budgets nor the General Directorate of Public Function.

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