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Assembly splurges over $500,000 on surveillance cameras

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Assembly splurges over $500,000 on surveillance cameras

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Following a spat between the president of the National Assembly (AN)  and President Juan Carlos Varela, a contract of over half a million dollars has been issued for the installation of sophisticated surveillance equipment for its facilities.

The contract went to  Ultra Tech Inc., which must install 90 new surveillance cameras, which are added to 62  already in place.

The Assembly, chaired by Cambio Democrático (CD) deputy  Yanibel Ábrego, supported the spending with the argument that they need to “protect” all their assets, as well as those of their employees, users, and visitors. It also argues that they seek to prevent “acts violating the legislation” from being carried out, in addition to obtaining “exhaustive monitoring of the perimeter of the facilities”.

The contract was granted two weeks after Ábrego sent a strong  letter to President Varela, in which she claimed that the Legislative “was besieged by members of security forces” on January 2, the day on which last legislative session was inaugurated.. , according to Abrego  the situation – “affects the independence with which the powers of the State must act”.

Ultra Tech Inc., S.A., must integrate 90 new cameras to the 62 that already exist.  . The Legislature argues that they need to protect their assets, those of their collaborators, users, and visitors. In addition, it states that they must “generate and provide evidence for research cases involving authorities of the institution and the country.”

Another objective is “To dissuade people from executing acts that violate the legislation of the Republic” Ábrego , in her letter to Varela protested  the entry of members of the Institutional (SIP)Protection Service to the Assembly during the installation of the fifth period of ordinary sessions when Varela was delivering his final state of the nation report.

In the letter, she told  Varela that the building “was besieged by members of security forces”, a situation that, she said, “affects the independence with which the powers of the State must act and undermines the autonomy it has. , by constitutional and legal mandate, the Legislative “.

Budget tug-of-war
In September 2018, the Finance Ministry recommended a budget of $96.5 million for the National Assembly, well below the $ 168 million requested by that State body. At that time, Ábrego told the Budget Committee that she considered that there was a campaign against the Assembly by the “economic power”, and that she did not understand the decrease in the figure.

Later, Ábrego managed to get the Executive to give her $27 million more, so this year she will have at her disposal $ 123.5 million. reports  La Prensa



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