Unbelievable, but apparently true. Alcudia’s councillor for public works, Martí Garcías Plomer, has admitted that major projects haven’t been acted upon because there is a lack of personnel in the contracts department. “We used to have five, but now we have two. Even with five, we got behind. We are not able to issue contracts as we are waiting for sufficient and qualified personnel. That’s the truth.”
Garcías offered this explanation at the most recent council meeting. It was in response to questions as to why the town hall hadn’t spent a cent of the some 90 million euros it has in the bank on projects that were agreed in February and include ones that were originally approved during the period of the previous administration from 2015 to 2019.
That cash mountain is the consequence of the accumulation of budget surpluses that the Spanish government wasn’t allowing to be spent. Alcudia, famously, has the largest such cash mountain of all Mallorca’s municipalities, but it was able to allocate cash when the Spanish government, because of Covid, relaxed the spending rules.
But because there aren’t the staff, tenders and their specs can’t be raised and awards can’t be made. There are, one understands, twelve projects in all, which include the one - some of you may remember this - for anti-terrorist poles (or whatever) to be installed in pedestrianised parts of the old town and the port area.
The councillor responsible for contracts, Joana Maria Bennàssar (and yes there is a different councillor to the one for public works), reckons that seven of the projects will shortly get the go-ahead. Mayor Barbara Rebassa, meanwhile, is particularly contrite. “The ultimate responsibility is mine.” She will be working so that whoever follows her as mayor will not be faced with the same problem. And someone to follow her is due. There was a mayor-sharing agreement, was there not? Domingo Bonnin, the fellow in charge of the beaches and waste.
Meanwhile, and further to the sad story of the Aligi Sassu horse, which has ignominiously been left on a municipal plot for several months, I was somewhat surprised to learn that a) the horse was still there and b) the wait was continuing for a metalworking company to get the repairs contract. Wasn’t it said recently that the horse was at the Sarasate workshop in Arta? Or did I imagine this?
Oh well, maybe it’s another case of the problem with awarding contracts.