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Costa Rican president promises to fire any top official who ‘misspends’ public funds

November 24, 2014

President Luis Guillermo Solís on Monday said he would dismiss any minister or public agency president who squanders funds allocated by the country’s national budget for 2015, currently under discussion in the Legislative Assembly.

During a public event in downtown San José on Monday, Solís said he would issue on Tuesday an official directive calling for all top officials from his Cabinet to “appropriately” use funds earmarked for their ministries or agencies, and he will require them to file expenditure reports in advance of his State of the Nation speech next May.

“I will tell them that those who fail to meet our expectations for management will be fired on May 1,” Solís told members of the media following a graduation ceremony for 392 new National Police officers on Monday.

He also tweeted the promise:

The president noted that it had taken great effort to convince lawmakers to accept his ₡7.9 trillion ($14.5 billion) budget proposal for next year that is 19 percent higher than this year’s budget. The 2015 budget currently is being discussed before a full Assembly, after lawmakers last Thursday rejected three separate initiatives aimed at slashing the proposal, submitted last September. Costa Rica’s Constitution requires lawmakers approve a national budget by Nov. 30 of each year.

The president also promised to implement appropiate measures to guarantee that all public resources are properly spent.

“We will respect what we’ve said [during the campaign]: We will be austere, responsible and efficient. The funds we secure come at a great cost for our country, and I don’t want to see any political tricks from the Legislative Assembly in cutting our plan,” he said. “We must guarantee that these resources are spent as they were planned.”

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