ASF Raises New Questions About NAIM CancellationBy María Fernanda Barría | Tue, 02/23/2021 - 14:34
The Superior Audit Office of the Federation (ASF) generated uncertainty by correcting today the data it offered yesterday on the cancellation costs of NAIM. On Monday, the government institution published that the final cost would be MX$332 billion ($6.8 billion), 232 percent more than what was expected in April 2019. However, today the institution announced “methodological inconsistencies” in its report. “We recognized there are inconsistencies in the quantification made in the audit, so its content is undergoing a thorough review to determine the cost of NAIM’s cancellation. At the moment, it has already been detected that said amount is lower than initially estimated,” said the institution.
ASF’s correction comes a day after President López Obrador criticized the report, saying the data was an “exaggeration.” “I would like them to explain that number. It is wrong and it is an exaggeration,” he said. “If that were the case, the airport would cost us not MX$300 billion (6.1 billion), but MX$600 billion ($12.1 billion). I hope they clarify it,” said the president during his daily morning conference.
According to El Economista, these statements created unease at ASF. “We do not want to be used by anyone for political purposes. That is why I ordered today that it is necessary to clarify the issue, particularly regarding financial compliance,” said David Colmenares Paramo, Superior Auditor of the Federation, in an interview with Radio Fórmula. “In case there is any error, which I do not know, we will try to explain what happened. I think the president was very respectful of the audit.”
The ASF indicates that the institute only considered the investment executed and the contracts’ early termination value.
Because of this, the cost of the cancellation could be even higher since the additional costs due to the liquidation of current contracts and the lawsuits that are still open have not been quantified,