The alleged "theft" of some 19,000 doses of fentanyl for medical purposes, in the Social Security Fund (CSS), is a situation that generates multiple courses of action for State institutions.
In the case of property owned by the State, it is the responsibility of the Public Ministry to investigate the possible commission of crimes such as embezzlement, or the different variants of drug trafficking if fentanyl has been the object of an illegal operation with the purpose of producing or distributing psychotropic substances.
At the same time, it is the responsibility of the Comptroller General to initiate an audit for the evident loss of public property. Within the CSS, an administrative investigation to determine the traceability of the "lost" doses.
There is another level of administrative responsibility that must be addressed, that of the director of the CSS himself. As has been known, the institution's board of directors was informed about the shortage of fentanyl at least 5 months after the director became aware of the fact, and only because the media had reported this news.
Article 28 of Law 51 of 2005, Organic of the CSS, in its numeral "1" establishes that the duties and powers of the board of directors are: "Guide and monitor the proper functioning of the Insurance Fund, and establish the policies for ensure the achievement of its objectives.
In turn, numeral "1" of article 41 of Law 51, which lists the powers and duties of the Director General of the institution, says: "Exercise the correct administration of the Institution; ensure the efficient administration of its assets, the disposition of funds and the execution of its budget, as well as ensure the adequate protection and safeguarding of its assets, and the appropriate performance of these”. It is obvious that hiding the fentanyl case from the institution's board of directors for 5 months does not meet these ends.
Article 39 of Law 51 establishes that the President may remove the director of the CSS, upon recommendation, through a reasoned and approved resolution, which has the support of at least 8 of the 11 members of the board of directors of the CSS. This is the only mechanism provided for in the Panamanian legislation for the dismissal of the director.
Rodrigo Noriega, - LA PRENSA