Public Funding Irregularities?

ALM Music School OnLA judge in Almuñécar has ordered a judicial investigation into claims that the Cultural Department of the Town Hall has permitted the misuse of public funds.

The privately run, non profit organisation, Todo Cultura, which the Cultural Department funded to organise the 2014 cultural calendar, as well as run the music school, appeared to have been under no effective financial supervision.

Not only was no tab kept on the funds received from the Town Hall, but also there was no control over the takings received by Todo Cultura from the money generated by cultural events; i.e., entrance fees etc.

Thus, the Councillor for Culture, Olga Ruano and the representatives of Todo Cultura could face of three separate counts of misuse of public funds, tax evasion and fraud.

The judicial investigation is sub judice, which means details may not be made public whilst it is going on.

In 2011 the Town Hall signed various agreements with Todo Cultura, assigning them the task of managing the municipal cultural programme, which entitled them to yearly public funding.

In 2014 the Town Hall changed the Municipal Treasurer, who soon warned of “alleged anomalies in the management of public funds.” The subsequent reports issued by the Treasurer are the basis for the case brought forward by the Public Prosecutor.

One instance of such “anomalies” is that the online sale of entrance tickets do not figure in any municipal account.

As for their running of the Municipal Music School, then housed in the Municipal Market, cheques were made out “payable to the bearer” as well as the use of unofficial receipts rather than official bills.

When the new Treasurer requested that Todo Cultura present the missing necessary documents they claimed that as a non-profit organisation they were not required to conform with the request as it would contravene data protection laws, which was when public funding logically came to an end.

(News: Almunecar, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)

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