ASF Reports Irregularities at Texcoco Airport’s Construction
The Federal Superior Auditor (ASF) reported a series of irregularities in the construction of the now-canceled New Mexico International Airport (NAIM) in Texcoco, whose contracts cost billions of pesos for undelivered and incomplete works. However, the authority has not yet started any legal processes regarding the matter.
According to Milenio, ASF opened over 17 investigation files due to undue payments that may entail financial losses of MX$1.9 billion (US$106.5 million). However, these files are “frozen” as the auditor has not yet started legal proceedings against the alleged perpetrators.
ASF noted that Grupo Aeroportuario de la Ciudad de México (GACM) squandered the resources due to incorrect calculations for the costs of materials and services, as well as on unauthorized purchases.
Additionally, there are a further 94 files that jointly sum to MX$9 billion (US$483.7 million). These files are not considered to have been frozen but have not been reviewed by the Federal General Prosecutor’s Office (FGR).
On Dec. 1, 2014, former President Enrique Peña Nieto signed one of the first contracts to kick-start NAIM’s construction, meant to become Peña Nieto’s flagship infrastructure project. According to ASF’s data, the largest contract was signed by GACM and FP-FREE, which represented Servicios Smart Free a Tu Nivel and Foster + Partners.
According to ASF, the consortium was to oversee the architectural design and engineering for the passenger terminal, access roads and parking lots, as well as the control tower and control centers. The consortium should have delivered the drafts of at least 11 NAIM areas in 2016 and 2017. However, it did not deliver the drafts and instead gave limited partial progress reports.
Despite not delivering the project in time as agreed, GACM paid the consortium MX$704 million (US$37.8 million), which according to ASF is the largest contract that presented irregularities.
Similarly, GACM signed a contract with Parsons International, a UAE-based company. According to the contract, Parsons was to provide advice, give support and monitor construction progress as well as to identify risks and potential delays. Nevertheless, ASF found that the company failed to deliver reports and documents that proved the company’s participation in works or the personnel it hired to monitor the project. Despite this issue, ASF found that GACM was paid over MX$9.3 million (US$500,000).
Among other irregularities, ASF found excessive salaries, additional charges to unitary prices, duplicated services, supervisory services without reports and the lagged recruitment of specialized workers and software.