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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09TEGUCIGALPA1099 2009-11-03 01:02:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tegucigalpa
Cable title:  

ELECTION OF SUPREME ACCOUNTING TRIBUNAL

Tags:   PHUM PGOV SOCI HO 
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RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTG #1099 3070102
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 030102Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY TEGUCIGALPA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0976
					  UNCLAS TEGUCIGALPA 001099 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/CEN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PGOV SOCI HO
SUBJECT: ELECTION OF SUPREME ACCOUNTING TRIBUNAL



1. (U) Summary. The Congress selected the three new
magistrates of the Supreme Accounting Tribunal (TSC) on
October 14. The selection process has come under attack for
lacking transparency. The TSC is an important institution
because of its government oversight function. The TSC
submits its findings directly to the Attorney General for
prosecution. End Summary.



2. (U) The National Congress selected the new magistrates of
the Supreme Accounting Tribunal (TSC) on October 14. The
newly elected magistrates will take office on December 7.
The election of the TSC generally takes place in November,
but this year the election was moved up because Congress
recessed from October 19 to December 1 in order to facilitate
campaigning by its members for the general election scheduled
for November 29.



3. (U) The Supreme Accounting Tribunal is comparable to the
Office of Management and Budget. It is an independent
government agency that oversees all administrative acts of
public officials who handle government funds. It is
currently investigating and documenting over 300 cases of
mismanagement and fraud which allegedly took place during
past and current administrations. The incumbents of the TSC
have urged the National Congress to reform the Acquisitions
and Contract Law to make the requirements for hiring and
contracting by the government stricter. The TSC has also
recommended greater regulation of public spending, including
representational allowances, severance pay ceilings, cellular
phone bills, salaries, etc., in view of the enormous abuse of
public funds.



4. (U) The regulatory law regarding the TSC provides that its
three members will be elected for a seven year term by a
two-thirds vote of the entire legislature. The law prohibits
the reelection of the incumbent members of the TSC. The TSC
presidency is rotated annually among its members, in the
order in which the magistrates were elected to the TSC. TSC
magistrates must be Honduran by birth, over thirty-five years
of age, and hold a university degree in economics,
administration, law, or finance.



5. (U) The political parties engaged in intense lobbying on
behalf of their candidates. On October 14, the Congress
selected by a show of hands the new members of the TSC. The
new magistrates of the TSC are: Daysi Oseguera Duron de
Anchecta, who has served as Secretary General of the TSC for
the past seven years and was proposed by the National Party;
Miguel Mejia, general services administrator of the National
Congress, who also served at the National Telephone Company
(HONDUTEL) and the National Institute for Pensions and
Retirement (INJUPEN), who was proposed by the Liberal Party;
and Jorge Bogran, lawyer and former Deputy Attorney General
for Environment in the Maduro administration, who was
proposed by the Christian Democratic Party. The new
magistrates will assume their positions on December 7. The
two largest parties, the Liberal and National Parties, and
the small Christian Democratic Party each received one
representative on the TSC; the result of a political pact
entered into when the institution was created on June 6, 2002.



6. (U) Congresswoman Silvia Ayala of the Democratic
Unification Party (UD), one of the small political parties,
criticized the mechanism for appointing the new magistrates
on the grounds that it lacked transparency and was the result
of back room deals. The president of the National
Anticorruption Council (CNA), Oswaldo Canales, joined Ayala
in questioning the lack of transparency in the TSC selection
process. Canales said that there should have been public
hearings, like the ones which took place when the judges of
the Supreme Court were chosen in January 2009. Canales said
public officials must be men and women of the highest moral
caliber.



7. (U) Comment: The TSC is an important institution because
of its watchdog role over the government. The lack of
transparency in its selection was a significant step
backwards given the public processes used early this year to
pick a new Supreme Court and Attorney General.
LLORENS