Bogota drug treatment program slammed by watchdog

Posted on Mar 14 2014 - 11:12pm by Rico
Drug Addiction

A Bogota initiative designed to treat impoverished drug addicts in the Colombian capital has come under scrutiny from oversight bodies for mismanagement of public funds. 

The city’s Comptroller General’s Office condemned the Mobile Care Centers for Drug Addicts (CAMAD) for inefficient management and direction of resources, according to the El Espectador newspaper.

El Espectador reported Friday that Comptroller General Diego Ardila, whose office is in charge of ensuring government funds are channeled correctly, said that CAMAD had serious flaws in its design and operation.

Speaking on Colombian television, Ardila said the initiative accrued over $1 million of waste from September 2012 to August 2013.

60% of this corresponded to treatment costs and the remaining 40% related to administrative costs, according to El Espectador.

Ardila also pointed out specific cases in which the scheme paid well over the necessary amounts for the services of certain professionals, suggesting other programs better suited to deliver treatment.

Ousted Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro started these drug treatment centers in the capital in September 2012 as a part of a broader drug policy shift away from penalization.

MORE: Bogota provides drugs to 500 addicts in pilot program

Ardila indicated that other programs backed by the mayor have been more effective in providing services. The Comptroller General’s Office is still looking into the wasteful spending, but so far no criminal allegations have been made.


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