Transparency body probes “all in the family” jobs

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THE TRANSPARENCY and Access to Information Authority (Antai) have handled 310 complaints from Dec. 2014  to Nov. 2017 about government officials allegedly involved in nepotism, with the Electoral Tribunal (TE) figuring among the top three offenders.

An  Antai, report reveals that 148 complaints were received from anonymous sources and 162 were initiated by the authority, reports La Prensa.

Among the entities in which there were the largest number of officials reported were the Electoral Court (TE), the Agricultural Marketing Institute (IMA) and the Civil Aeronautics Authority (AAC), with 10 reports apiece.

The Chilibre Community Board, had five officials denounced; The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Authority with four, and the consulate of Panama in Houston, with three.

According to the report, 21 officials were found to be engaged in nepotism. After the denunciations, there were, at least, 28 transfers, resignations and dismissals of officials.

One of the first nepotism scandals in the  Juan Carlos Varela administration came to light when his government was just beginning in 2014.

At the Panamanian Consulate in Houston. Texas.  a citizen reported that three people working there were members of the same family: a woman and her two children. Two of the three consulate officials were dismissed.

In the Ministry of the Presidency, Minister Álvaro Alemán, had his nephew Jaime Alemán Arosemena, s executive assistant, which, says La Prensa. caused a collective rejection by civil society, but before the Antai resolved the case, the nephew of the minister resigned.

In those days, complaints of nepotism proliferated.

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