Categories: Panama

Globetrotting judges ask for more

The chief justice as seen by La Prensa cartoonist

PANAMA’S  globetrotting judicial branch continues to ignore travel budgets with Supreme Court president  Jose Ayu Prado leading the pack of jet-setters, and they want more.

As of last August, the Judicial Branch had spent $979,729 on per diems says a report that the body took to the National Assembly to ask for more for 2018.

The document shows that by 2017, the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) approved $650,944 for per diems. , But the figure rose by $328,785 over budget.

For travel expenses in the interior, the judiciary  was assigned $430,500, but until August  had spent $610 230,   that is, 42% more than budgeted while in travel expenses .abroad it was allocated $122,000 and spent $364,000 or 198% more with the chief justice leading the pack as delayed cases pile up in the court.

For fiscal 2018  the judicial authority has asked for  $3.3 million for travel expenses. But, the MEF  recommended that the National Assembly approve only $604,900.

For per diems to other persons, the Judiciary had requested $150,700, and the MEF recommended $70,000.

The per diems for other people are, according to the MEF the funds that are paid to persons who are not officials traveling within the national territory and abroad as “a part of the services provided by public institutions. ”

The budget report of the Judicial Branch also reveals another interesting fact. For travel expenses of 2017, the budget was  $650,944, however, as of August 31 of this year, the justice administration had spent $979,729.

Only on  trips abroad, until August, the Court spent $364,000, twice more than the MEF approved for 2017 [$122.000 thousand] with  travels within the country, which climbed from  $450 500  climbed to $610,230.


David Young :