The Anti-corruption act of 2004 was set into force to stem dishonesty within Costa Rican seats of power. The idea is a simple one. To add a measure of control and accountability, persons such as Mayors, Deputies, government executives, municipal councilmen, etc. are to report their worth to the office of the Comptroller General.
If an official has a much higher net worth (shown by liquid assets) then their pay grade should allow for, they may fall under suspicion of corruption and be investigated. All inconstancies and inaccuracies need to be explained. The Anti-Corruption Act reports are not however, available on public record. They are in fact, completely secret. This is a bit strange given the fact that the act is supposed to promote “transparency” and to find conflicts of interest. The assuring side to this is that the Comptroller General’s office has remained free of suspicious conjecture.
La Nacion recently exposed that some 319 officials “forgot” to declare their assets by the May 22nd deadline for this reporting cycle. One that already has a dubious history and should prove interesting is the Costa Rican highway agency CONAVI. Another of the officials who failed to report, surprisingly enough, is Elizabeth Quesada, the former ombudswoman. A fairly high percentage of the non-reporters were executives of Caja de Seguro Social. Around 1/3 of the 319 officials were mayors.
Just because these officials “forgot” to make their declaration, does not mean that they are automatically suspected of unsavory activities. All of them have assured La Nacion’s reporters that they will do a prompt inventory of their assets and report to the Comptroller General as soon as possible.