Spending by congress members continues to be excessive, and there is no law to stop them. Deputies and senators of the 62nd Legislature are leaving with full hands and have not disclosed information on their spending activity during the legislative period. The total amount spent was published in the Official Gazette.
Senators and Deputies of the 62nd Legislature, which will concludes next week, received at least 6.64 billion pesos ($386.2 million) to spend on whatever they wanted, because there are no laws obliging them to disclose their spending activity.
The funds are delivered directly to the beneficiaries. If a citizen requests to be informed of details of the spending, the request is denied on the grounds that it is confidential information. The deputies argue that there are no laws obliging them to present any receipt of purchase regarding their use of funds.
According to reports from the Chamber of Deputies, representatives on the benches of San Lázaro received 3 billion pesos from September 2012 (when the Legislature opened) to April 2015.
The funds were divided among the political parties. The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) received 1.5 billion pesos; the National Action Party (PAN) 685 million; the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) 595.7 million; the Green Party 202 million; the Citizen Movement Party 158 million; the Labor Party (PT) 114.6 million; the New Alliance Party (PANAL) 93 million, and the recently formed National Regeneration Movement (Morena) 6.4 million pesos.
The spending was published in the quarterly reports of the Chamber of Deputies Official Gazette. When questioned on spending, receipts of purchase and transparency measures, the Link Unit responded that the information “is confidential.”
In the case of the Senate, only annual spending totals were disclosed. According to public accounts, legislators received 1.21 billion pesos in 2013, 1.31 billion in 2014 and 1.2 billion in 2015.
When the parliamentary group was asked to disclose information regarding their spending, the response was that “there are no legal obligations for senators to present documentation linked to spending activity.”
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