Artículos de Eduardo R. Saguier

23-04-2012

Index of Appendices

Appendix I      Criminal report against the Board of Directors of CONICET for failure to report inappropriate use and sale of patents

Appendix II    The Mafia Network in Argentine Science and Universities

Appendix III   Opinion of the Prosecutor’s Office of Administrative Investigation [FIA – acronym in Spanish]

Appendix IV  First Trial Court ruling to file the complaint

Appendix V    Federal Court’s Ruling ratifying the file of the complaint

Appendix VI   Brief Story of Deprivation of Justice in Argentina

Appendix VII.  Academic opinion on the Education Law (La Nación, 5/30/1980)

Appendix VIII. List of Social Scientists Subsidized by the Agency or ANPCYT (2002-2009)

 

 

Appendix I    Criminal charges against CONICET Directorate for having omitted complaining the appropriation and sale of patents

 

Report filed against CONICET’s Board of Directors for failure to control patent registration

10/6//10 | Eduardo R. Saguier, researcher from the CONICET, reports that some researchers from such entity file on their behalf patent applications on discoveries made by the team and sell them abroad.

 

 

Eduardo R. Saguier

saguiere@ssdnet.com.ar

 

Criminal report against the Board of Director of the CONICET for failure to report inappropriate use and sale of patents, filed with Court Clerk’s Office No. 1 of the Federal Criminal Court in charge of Judge María Romilda Servini de Cubria, under No. 12812/10, dated October 4th, 2010.

 

REPORT

 

Your Honor,

 

Eduardo R. Saguier, Professional Researcher from the CONICET, legally counseled by Jorge E. Marenco, Esq., setting legal address at Juan F.Segui 3955, 2nd floor, Apt. E -1425, City of Buenos Aires, appears and says:

 

 

 

I.- PURPOSE.-

 

I.1.- I hereby report facts regarding disposal of State property that may constitute a crime, which would involve the Board of Directors of the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET, in Spanish) and researchers and collaborators from such entity.

 

 

 

II.- FACTS.-

 

II. 1- The Board of Directors of the CONICET would be involved in the alleged unlawful acts (notwithstanding that the Directors of the National Agency for Science and Technological Promotion (ANPCyT, in Spanish) and of the CONEAU) may be accomplices, for failure to apply the relevant controls and file the legal actions necessary to prevent these facts, and also for hiding them during the Chairmanships’ of Eduardo Charreau (2002-2008) and Marta G. Rovira (2008-2010).  The former should have informed the aforementioned unlawful acts to the former Science and Technological Secretariat, and the latter should have informed them to the Ministry of Science, and/or otherwise directly to surveillance bodies and/or Criminal Justice’s authorities.  The alleged unlawful acts would be related to the administration and/or disposal of scientific product or procedure patents that Argentine researchers would have registered abroad on their own behalf, but that would be the result of discoveries mainly made in our country by researchers from the CONICET, using subsidies from the ANPCyT, with evaluation and accreditation by the CONEAU, with facilities, laboratories and workplaces provided by the Universidad Nacional Rosario.

 

II.2.- The first results of the research conducted by molecular biologist, Lead Researcher of the CONICET, Néstor José Carrillo, PhD., and his scientific team (Adriana Kapp and Anabella Lodeyro, PhDs), during the years 2001, 2002 and 2004, at the Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Rosario (IBR, in Spanish) (shared by the CONICET and the Universidad Nacional de Rosario from 1999), http://www.ibr.gov.ar/ibr/investigacion/investigacion_ind.php?linea=12 showed “…a breakthrough in seeds (soy, wheat, linen and corn, etc.).  Resorting to flavodoxin, plants could normally grow in water stressed areas, i.e., with very low or very high levels of water, which was then successfully proved in several states of USA.

 

 

II.3.- IBR researchers, who filed said patent applications disregarding Decree Law No. 20464/73 and its Regulation, would have appropriated the rights on their discoveries on October 24th, 2001 (as per the Resume of the Spanish research, Maria Francisca Fillat Castejón), assigning them, for a symbolic amount of money, to a British biotechnology company named Plant Bioscience Limited or PBL TECHNOLOGY (Reg. No. 02896390), which “funds projects and turns inventions into formally patentable applications that can be scientifically validated and regionally benchmarked.”

 

http://www.pbltechnology.com/cms.php?pageid=348#RootHair

 

II.4.- The first patent application of Carrillo, PhD., was submitted with the European Union on October 24th, 2001, during the time of the “frozen funds” at banks and economic-political crisis in Argentina. Although this patent application date is disclosed in the Resume of researcher Fillat Castejón (Biochemical Department of the Universidad de Zaragoza), Carrillo’s resume sets forth that this patent application, with the same code number, was submitted a year later, in 2002.

 

II.5.- In turn, PBL TECHNOLOGY, which had priority to submit the patent application from 10/24/01, would have resold this patent, at a date not specified yet, for several millions of Euros to the German chemical company, BASF, http://www.basf.com/group/corporate/en/, in a transaction made as an operation triangulation, where Argentine Researchers appear as “blood donors” to the benefit of multinational companies.  Indeed, the investment made by the Argentine government in Researcher Carrillo, from his elementary, high-school and university education to his scientific research work, through the CONICET, the Agency or ANPCyT and the CONEAU, would have returned only one US dollar to the Argentine people!!!  However, as paradoxical as it may seem, what Argentine researchers sold in the past as their own property, eventually brings revenues to different laboratories and private entities, which sell the product to the world, including us.

 

II.6.- Based on information included in their own resumes, Carrillo et al from the IBR (Adriana R. Krapp and Anabella F. Lodeyro) had, in addition to several subsidies from the Agency and multiple accreditations from the CONEAU, broad experience in patenting their discoveries abroad without the institutional involvement of the Argentine government, the CONICET, the Agency, the CONEAU, and naturally, the WIPO.

 

While the CONICET is not mentioned in any patent registry as the invention owner, Carrillo et al would have jointly patented their findings with IBR Researchers Javier F. Palatnik, Estela Marta Valle, Vanesa B. Tognetti (interns from 2006 at the University of Bielefeld, Germany) and Maria Fillat Castejón.  This group made important discoveries entitled: “Stress Tolerant Plants,” in 2002, under UE patent code No. 02801941.2-2405-GB0204612; and another discovery in 2004 under the same title and with US patent code No. 6,781,034 B2 (see Exhibit I).  Carrillo, PhD, also filed three (3) more patent applications, with unknown results and dates, under the following codes: AU 20022334130 (Australia); EP 1442127 (European Parliament); and GB 20010025522 (Great Britain).

 

II.7.- Before Resolution (D) No. 3249 dated December 26th, 2007, currently effective, the CONICET was governed by Resolution (D) No. 243/89.  With the application of the latter resolution in the IBR, the following CONICET’s researchers, subsidized by the Agency, would have not been entitled to collect patent revenues: postgraduate fellows, Mariana Giró and Matías Zurbriggen, PhDs; graduate fellows Lic Romina Ceccoli, María Laura Delprato and Juan José Pierella Karlusich; dissertators Martin Leonardo Mayta, María Betina Comba, and Luisina Palos Mangione; and technician or support staff, Hugo Poli.

 

II.8.- Resolution (D) No. 3249/07 was issued on December 26th, 2007.  Sections 7 and 8 thereof show the patterns of intent, reliance and decision-making powers prevailing at the CONICET’s Board of Directors. The patent applications filed by Carrillo, PhD., and his team with the EU and USA, from 2001 to 2007, show that they appropriated the result of patent developments in three (3) opportunities, since: a) The Board of the CONICET had not approved, retroactive to year 2001, and was not able to authorize, the agreements Carrillo may have entered with PBL Technology; b) the CONICET had no intellectual property rights on the results; and c) the fellows and the supporting staff, and even the CONICET itself, were not timely compensated for with additional payments for the assignment of their rights.

 

II.9.- Following the chronological order of facts, five (5) months after Resolution (D) No. 3249/07, in May 2008, the report on Carrillo’s assignment to PBL Technology was formalized with the CONICET through a summary proceeding (File 1894/08).  The Board of Directors resolved to dismiss and file said report, thus becoming involved in the alleged facts.

 

II.10.- The minutes of the Board meetings were also filed with the CONICET, and the summary proceedings resulting from the reports were marked as “reserved,” because, in 2008 and 2009, the right to take note of files had been denied to a petitioner.

 

II.11.- More than a year later, in 2009, and after almost eight (8) years from the date Carrillo entered into an agreement with PBL Technology, the CONICET’s Board started negotiations to enter into an agreement with this British company but, this time, with the Universidad Nacional del Litoral (UNL).  This agreement was intended to hide the misconducts of the past, and it was finally executed on July 31st, 2010.

 

http://infoalternativa.com.ar/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1

899:avance-cientifico-de-la-unl-y-el-conicet-beneficia-a-los-productores-rur

ales&catid=37:argentina&Itemid=57

 

By means of said agreement, the CONICET authorized PBL to use and exploit technology owned by the CONICET, whether patented or not, in consideration for an unknown fixed amount of money or royalty to be paid to the CONICET. In turn, the latter, pursuant to Section 9, Resolution (D) 3249 dated December 26th, 2007, should share up to 50% of patent benefits with the staff of Argentine Institutes involved in the approved scientific development (the IBR of Universidad de Rosario, created in 1999 by means of a Resolution passed by the CONICET’s Board during the offices of Eng. Armando Bertranou and Charreau; and the IAL of Universidad del Litoral, created by means of an agreement entered into with the CONICET in 2008, during the office of Marta Rovira, former Agency’s Coordinator). These efforts were fruitless as the CONICET’s By-Laws were mocked at.

 

II.12.- But these were not the only alleged unlawful acts committed in the CONICET.  On April 10th, 2004 a report was filed with said institution against the behavior of geologists from the Universidad Nacional del Sur and Universidad Nacional de La Plata, affiliated to the CONICET (one of them, Carlos Rapela, PhD., was a member of the Board), http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=3554, stating that they would have sold the geological research detected with instruments borrowed from the institutes of the relevant National Universities and funded by the CONICET, to the benefit of private mining companies.

 

 The subpoena to start the relevant summary proceedings and the ratification of the report were issued five (5) months later, on September 10th, 2004.  The first deposition took place on September 17th, 2004, with an extension thereof on October 9th, 2004; and in 2005, almost a year after the report was filed, it was about to be observed.  This administrative delay is extremely rare, along with the suspicious slack attitude of not having served notice thereof to the former National Science and Technology Secretariat, the Prosecutor’s Office of Administrative Investigations and/or Federal Criminal Courts.

 

III.- LAW

 

For illustration purposes, I hereby quote Section 10 of Decree Law 20464/73 (CONICET’s By-Laws of Scientific and Technological Professional Researchers), which states that scientific inventions developed during an employment relationship belong to the employer;” and Section 19 of the same Decree sets forth that “…they will be jointly owned by the staff, the Board [CONICET] and the staff’s Institution;”

 

IV.- CONSEQUENCES – DUTIES OF THE STATE.

 

Note that we ignore whether these acts, except for the sale of geological research, have been repeated or not in our academic environment, corrupting the ethics of scientist’s responsibility, thus broadening and fostering brain drain –being Argentina the most affected country in the entire continent.

 

The facts stated herein are serious, because, corruption would be making pointless any such investments, debts, public budgets and R&D evaluation and accreditation systems used by the Agency – ANPCyT; almost a billion dollars from the IDB spent in thirteen (13) years, around one hundred million dollars a year; or by the CONICET along with several universities and research sites from the country and abroad, with a budget of 200 million dollars per year; or by the CONEAU with multiple evaluations and accreditations.

 

V.- EVIDENCE:

 

V.1.- Documentary evidence. Case File 1894/08, which should be requested through official letter to the CONICET and all other files above mentioned and those related to the report.-

 

V.2.- Exhibit I. Web site:

 

http://www.fbioyf.unr.edu.ar/academica/cv-docentes/c/carrillo_nestor.html

 

V.3.- Be the persons mentioned in item II summoned to make a deposition. 7.

 

VI.- REQUEST. I hereby request Your Honor

 

1. That this report be deemed filed,

 

2. That the relevant specific investigation of the facts reported herein be set and ordered;

 

Requested,

 

IN FURTHERANCE OF JUSTICE.-

 

Eduardo R. Saguier                       Jorge E. Marenco, Esq.

 

ID 4394.928                            Volume 22 Folio 628 CPACF

 

Exhibit 1

 

b. Invention Patents and Models

V. B. Tognetti, J. F. Palatnik, M. F. Fillat, E. M. Valle, N. Carrillo

 

(2002) Stress tolerant plants. EU patent No 02801941.2-2405-GB0204612.

 

J. F. Palatnik, M. F. Fillat, N. Carrillo, E. M. Valle, V. B. Tognetti

 

(2004) Stress tolerant plants. US patent No 6,781,034 B2.

 

(Source: Resume of Néstor José Carrillo, PhD) http://www.fbioyf.unr.edu.ar/academica/cv-docentes/c/carrillo_nestor.ht

 

 

Appendix II

 

The Mafia Network in Argentine Science and Universities

by Eduardo R. Saguier

Independent Researcher of the CONICET
E-mail: saguiere@ssdnet.com.ar

 

Index

 

I.- Introduction

II. The Agency and the complicity of its Area Coordinators

III. The Conicet and the complicity of its Advisory Committees

IV. The National Universities and the complicity of their Science and Technology Secretariats

V. Conclusions

 

I.- Introduction

The National Agency for Scientific and Technological Promotion, reporting to the National Science and Technology Secretariat, was supposedly created out of the need of a science funding system different from the recipient’s institution, and also to deprive the CONICET of the funds used to subsidize its own Professional Researchers, alleging that it could not act as Judge and Interested Party in the distribution of said subsidies.

After a decade and paradoxically what started as a safe independence and academic balance objective ended up being the opposite, since the facts show that the Agency, the CONICET, the Science and Technology Secretariats of National Universities, the CONEAU and the Secretariat of University Policies of the Ministry of Education distorted their original principles individually and illegally merging their mutual interests.

The Area Coordinators of the Agency, who are in charge of appointing the evaluators of each project (of reserved identity), are appointed by the Agency’s Board of Directors.  These Area Coordinators precede, accompany and survive the subsidies self granted, clearly implying the crime of collusion of interests.

Moreover, the Agency grants subsidies to certain and specific Researchers of the CONICET and in return, the Board of Directors of the CONICET appoints them to its multiple Commissions and through its own Qualifications Board, they are promoted within the scientific career.  This plan would not have been possible without the support of multiple authorities, including, among others, the staff of the National Science and Technology Secretariat, as well as every official of the Science and Technology Secretariats of the different National Universities, which have been an intrinsic part of said plan through the categorization of the so called "Incentives."

These reciprocities result from unwritten codes, privileges and prerogatives, whereby the eventual allies are included.  The authentically prestigious entities are used to infiltrate the unscrupulous and mediocre individuals, and the opposing parties or those elements considered dangerous are excluded through punitive measures (rejection of Reports, freezing of promotions, etc.), because they may be able to undermine the mafia plan. With these codes there is never a way to regret or report their colleagues.  The denunciation and accusation are equal to underestimation and punishment.

Initially, the subsidies amounted to five-digit sums, and then they amounted to six-digit sums.  In turn, at first the number of thematic Areas was reasonable but, as time went by, the number increased drastically.  The merger of these science and technology agencies and the creation of multiple niches of academic power peaked and resulted in an increased fragmentation of the ranks of scientists. 

We should point out that this research was done thanks to the insistence in the Pol-Cien Electronic List on showing the hidden information in the electronic website of the SECyT, which is not transparent at all, and seemed to be hidden on purpose.  The comparison between the different lists was hand-made, without any software whatsoever and using the human memory, that is why many correlations are likely to be overlooked, specially those carrying patronymic surnames (e.g.: Pérez, Rodríguez, González, Fernández, etc.).

II. The Agency and the complicity of its Area Coordinators

In the National Agency for Scientific and Technological Promotion, reporting to the National Science and Technology Secretariat (SECYT), headed by Dr. Lino Barañao, the Area Coordinators Jorge Jorrat, Marcelo Cabada, Eduardo Arzt, and Jaime Cerda, might have assigned to themselves corresponding grants.

In effect, in the Call for proposals-2004, the Area Coordinator of the Human and Social Sciences Committee Dr. Jorge Jorrat received $209,000; and in the Call for proposals-2003, the Area Coordinator of Medical Sciences Dr. Eduardo Arzt received $210,000; the Area Coordinator of Biological Sciences Dr. Marcelo Cabada received $210,000, and the Area Coordinator of Chemical Technology Dr. Jaime Cerda also received $210,000. And in the Call for proposals-2002, in a suspicious operation an equal amount of money was assigned to who in the following year were the Area Coordinator of Information Technology Dr. Marcelo Frías, of Food Technology María Cristina Añón, and of Economy and Law Dr. Luis Beccaria.

In like manner, the members of CONICET Directory Faustino Siñeriz, Carlos Rapela and Noemí Girbal de Blacha received each one in the Call for proposals-2002 the amount of $210,000; and in the to Call for proposals-2005 an undetermined amount of money under the code 32.396. And to the Attaché of the Secretary of Science and Technology, and Director of the Scientific Observatory, Dr. Mario Albornoz, in the Call for proposals-2003 he received $128.000, and in the Call for proposals-2005 an undetermined amount of money under the code 33.851.

To the Area Coordinators, who have been accused at the beginning of this document we have to add the following Coordinators:

  1. In the Call for proposals-2005 different amounts of money were given to Area Coordinators Marcelo Cabada, Juan José Cazzulo, Eduardo Arzt, Alcira Batlle, Juan José Poderoso, Horacio Corti, Alberto Vargas, Luis Gugliotta, and Ana María Antón.
  2. In the Call for proposals-2004 different amounts of money were given to Area Coordinators Eduardo Cánepa, Mirta Quattrochio, Juan Pablo Paz, Rodolfo Sánchez, Damián Zanetti, Juan Jose Poderoso, Amelia Rubiolo and Verónica Bucala.
  3. In the Call for proposals-2003 different amounts of money were given to Area Coordinators Carlos A. Balseiro, Juan José Cazzulo, Horacio Corti, Roberto Rossi, Carlos Lanusse, Isidoro Schalamuk, and Ricardo Carelli
  4. In the Call for proposals-2002 different amounts of money were given to Area Coordinators Gustavo Politis, Luis Alberto Beaugé, Roberto Salvarezza, Ricardo Astini, Beatriz Coira, Hermenegildo Ceccatto, Carlos Gigolo, Luis Mroginski, Maria Cristina Anón, Luis Beccaria and Marcelo Frías.
  5. In the Call for proposals-2000/2001 different amounts of money were given to Area Coordinators Eduardo Cánepa, Juan José Cazzulo, Marcelo Cabada, Rodolfo Sán-chez, Damián Ravetta, Gustavo Corach, Juan Pablo Paz, Juan José Poderoso, Alcira Batlle, Bea-triz Coira, Walter Helbling, Ana María Parma, Alberto Escande, Amelia Rubiolo, Alberto Vargas, Francisco Felipe Garcés, and the present President of the Agency Lino Barañao.

In effect, in the Call for proposals-2005, grants were given to Area Coordinators of Biological Sciences Marcelo Cabada and Juan José Cazzulo under the codes 31.660 and 38211; of Medical Sciences Coordinators Eduardo Arzt, Alcira Batlle, Juan José Poderoso under the codes 31.541, 32642, and 34.785; of Chemical Sciences Coordinator Horacio Corti under the code 32.916; of Energy Technology Coordinator Alberto Vargas under the code 32.438; of Chemical Technology Coordinator Luis Gugliotta under the code 38.158; and to Biological Sciences Coordinator Ana María Antón under the code 34.901.

In the Call for proposals-2004, grants were given to Area Coordinator of Biological Sciences Dr. Eduardo Cánepa AR$280.000; to the Area Coordinator of Earth Sciences Mirta Quattrochio AR$223.000; to the Physics-Mathematics Sciences Coordinators Juan Pablo Paz AR$271.000, Rodolfo Sánchez AR$200.000; and Damián Zanetti AR$202.000; to the Medical Sciences Coordinator Juan José Poderoso AR$279.000; to the Earth Sciences Coordinator Rodolfo Sánchez AR $78.802; to the Food Technology Coordinator Amelia Rubiolo AR$280.000; and to the Chemical Technology Coordinator Verónica Bucala AR$248.000.

In the Call for proposals-2003, grants were given to the Area Coordinator of Mathematics Sciences Carlos A. Balseiro AR$210.000; to the Area Coordinator of Biological Sciences Juan José Cazzulo AR$210.000; to the Area Coordinators of Chemical Sciences Horacio Corti AR$209.000 and Roberto Rossi AR$210.000; to the Area Coordinator of Animal Technology Carlos Lanusse AR$210.000; to the Area Coordinator of Energy Technology Isidoro Schalamuk AR$206.000; and to the Area Coordinator of Information Technology Ricardo Carelli AR$256.000. As a matter of fact, the Area Coordinator Roberto Rossi, here mentioned, might be the same one named in La Nación of Friday December 1st as having received the Sadoski-Bernardo Houssay Reward.

In the Call for proposals-2002, grants were given to the Area Coordinator of Human Sciences Gustavo Politis AR$200.000; to the Area Coordinator of Medical Sciences Luis Alberto Beaugé AR$210.000; to the Area Coordinator of Chemical Sciences Roberto Salvarezza AR$193.000; to the Area Coordinator of Earth Sciences Ricardo Astini AR$210.000 and Beatriz Coira AR$204.000; to the Area Coordinator of Physics-Mathematics Sciences Hermenegildo Ceccatto AR$200.000; to the Area Coordinator of Chemical Technology Carlos Gigoló AR$85.000; to the Area Coordinator of Agrarian Technology Luis Mroginski AR$163.000; to the Area Coordinator of Food Technology María Cristina Anon AR$209.000; to the Area Coordinator of Economy and Law Luis Beccaria AR$121.000; and to the Area Coordinator of Information Technology Marcelo Frías AR$206.000.

In the Call for proposals-2000/2001, grants were given to the Area Coordinators of Biological Sciences Eduardo Cánepa AR$130.000; Juan José Cazzulo AR$140.000; and Marcelo Cabada AR$90.000; to the Area Coordinator of Agrarian Technology Rodolfo Sánchez AR$84.000 and Damián Ravetta AR$140.000 (the last one partner of Ing. Víctor Kopp, Director of the Technical Area of Subsidies Management); to the Area Coordinators of Physics-Mathematics Sciences Gustavo Corach AR$105.000 and Juan Pablo Paz AR$90.000; to the Area Coordinator of Medical Sciences Juan José Poderoso AR$105.000; to the Area Coordinator of Chemical Sciences Alcira Batlle AR$150.000; to the Area Coordinator of Earth Sciences Beatriz Coira AR$120.000; to the Area Coordinator of Biological Sciences Walter Helbling AR$130.000; to the Area Coordinator of Animal Technology Ana María Parma AR$100.000; to the Area Coordinator of Agrarian Technology Alberto Escande AR$105.000; to the Area Coordinator of Food Technology Amelia Rubiolo AR$150.000; and to the Area Coordinator of Energy Technology Alberto Vargas AR$84.000 and Francisco Felipe Garcés AR $72.000. In this last Call for proposals-2000/2001 a grant was given to Prof. Lino Barañao AR$140.000; to the ex CONICET President and present FONCYT General Director Armando Bertranou AR$75.000; and to both Deans Alberto Boveris and Héctor Trinchero AR$170.000 each one. In the Call for proposals-2005 the ex Secretary of Science and Technology during the Menem government Juan Carlos del Bello received a grant under the code 35.196, and the Secretary of Education of the Buenos Aires Province Adriana Puiggrós an indefinite amount of money under the code 38.346. Also a grant was received by the recently promoted to the highest hierarchy of Senior Researcher of CONICET, Martín Isturiz, with an indefinite amount of money under the code 38.197

III. The Conicet and the complicity of its Advisory Committees

The presence of the members of the CONICET Directory Faustino Siñeriz, Carlos Rapela and Noemí Girbal de Blacha among the members of the Mafia Network or the “Chain of Happiness” of the Argentine science had confirmed the suspicion of an intrinsical reciprocity between the Agency and the CONICET, both belonging to the Secretariat of Science and Technology. Cross-tabulating the present list of members of the CONICET Advisory Committees, belonging to year 2006, with the lists of those receiving grants from the Agency-SEPCyT during the last quinquennium has given as a result almost a hundred direct correlations.

Among the members of the Advisory Committees of Medical Sciences, who received grants in 2000/ 2001 were Aldo Mottino with AR$105.000; Carlos José Pirola with AR$120.000; Oscar Bottasso with AR$92.000; and Héctor Targovink with the AR$105.000; in 2002 Patricia Elizalde with AR$210.000; Ana María Franchi with AR$210.000, and Alicia Belgorosky with AR$210.000; in 2003, Hugo Daniel Luján received AR$210.000, and Osvaldo Uchitel AR$200.000; in 2004 Rodolfo Campos received AR$279.000; Jorge Geffner AR$174.000; María Ángela Lazzari AR$280.000; Alicia Mattiazzi AR$251.000; Héctor Targovnik received again another grant of AR$252.000; and Mario G. Murer AR$195.000. In this last case, it might be necessary to make clear that Dr. Murer had already received in 2002 AR$110.334. And in 2005, Claudia Capurro received an amount of money under the code 32.130; Osvaldo Podhajcer an amount under the code 38.011; and again Osvaldo Uchitel an unknown amount.

Among the members of the Advisory Committees of Biology Alfredo Juan Castro Vázquez received in 2002 AR$147.000; and in 2005 Miguel Angel Sosa Escudero received an indefinite amount of money under the code 33.383; and Marta Dolores Mudry an amount of money under the code 38.001.

Among the members of the Advisory Committees of Chemistry, in 2000/2001 María Rita Micaela Hoyos de Rossi received AR$140.000; Manuel López Teijelo AR$94.000; and Carlos Previtali AR$105.000; in 2002 the Coordinator Gerardo Burton received AR$202.000; in 2004 Edgardo Durantini received AR$203.000; Luis Dante Martínez AR$160.000; and José Carmelo Pedregosa AR$267.000. And in 2005, Carlos M. Previtali received again an indefinite amount under the code 32.351. Among the members of the Advisory Committee of Biochemistry, in 2004, the Coordinator Beatriz Caputto received AR$280.000; José Luis Bocco AR $279.000; Horacio Garda AR$270.000; Fernando Goldbaum AR$280.000; and María Isabel Colombo AR$276.000. In this last case, it might be necessary to make clear that Dra. Colombo had already received in 2002 AR$196.771.

Among the members of the Advisory Committees of Mathematics and Computing Juan Santos received in 2002 AR$205.000; and Graciela Boente Boente received in 2004 AR$177.000. Among the members of the Advisory Committees of Physics, Ricardo Piegaia received in 2002 AR$171.249; and in 2005 Jorge Fernández Niello received an indefinite amount under the code 32.757; and Patricia Levstein another unknown amount under the code 33.623. Among the members of the Advisory Committee of Astronomy, its Coordinator Pablo J. Mauas received in 2005 an indefinite amount of money under the code 32.408. Among the members of the Advisory Committee of Natural and Exact Sciences Gerardo Perillo, who at the same time play the role of Coordinator of the Advisory Committee of Earth Sciences, received in 2004 AR$272.000.

Among the members of the Advisory Committee of Agrarian Sciences, in 2002 Roberto Lecuona received AR$175.000; and in 2003 Sofía Chulze received AR$210.000. Among the members of the Advisory Committee of veterinary, in 2000/2001 Osvaldo Rossetti received AR$75.000; and in 2002 Enrique Portianski received AR $197.000. Among the members of the Advisory Committee of Earth, Water and Atmosphere Sciences, in 2000/2001 Analía Artabe received AR$75.000; Sergio Matheos AR$85.000; and Alejandro Tosselli AR$150.000; in 2002 Carlos Cingolani received AR$188.167; in 2004 Susana Bischoff received AR$220.000; and in 2005 those who received grants were again Analía Artabe an amount of money under the code 32.323; and Alicia Ronco an amount under the code 38.350.

Among the members of the Advisory Committee of Civil, Mechanic and Electric Engineering, Ing. Guillermo Kaufman received in 2005 an amount of money under the code 38.168. Among the members of the Advisory Committee of Engineering and Industrial and Biotechnological Processes in 2000/2001 José Bandoni received AR$120.000.

Among the members of the Advisory Committee of Human Sciences, María Isabel Santa Cruz received in 2005 an unknown amount of money under the code 38.227. Among the members of the Advisory Committee of Architecture in 2000/2001 Beatriz Cuenya received AR$60.000. Among the members of the Advisory Committee of Histori and Anthropology in 2000/2001 Cristina Bellelli received AR $92.000.

Also have received grants the members of the Advisory Committees Pablo Penchaszadeh, Alfredo Bolsi y Guillermo Mengoni Goñalons. Also, this same phenomenon occurred at the University of Córdoba with researchers Dora Celton and César Tcach; in the University of Cuyo with biologist Alfredo Castro Vázquez; and in the National University of the South with the chemical technologist José Alberto Bandoni, who integrates the Advisory Committee of Engineering in Industrial and Biotechnological Processes.

Among the members of the Advisory Committee of the Ad-hoc Interdisciplinary of the Great Area of Agrarian Sciences, Noemí Walsoe de Reca received in 2003 an unknown amount of money; and in the Advisory Committee of Biological Sciences Stella González Cappa received an unknown amount, Ricardo Farías AR$210.000 in 2003, and Rodolfo Ugalde who at the same time played the role of Coordinator of the Advisory Committee of Veterinary and was Director of the Council of Scientific Research (CIC) of Buenos Aires Province received AR$210.000 in 2003 and AR$275.000 in 2004.

Among the members of the Advisory Committee of the Basic Center of Scientific Journals Alfredo Bolsi received AR$30.000 in 2000/01, Dora Barrancos AR$208.000 in 2004, Alejandro Rofman AR$135.000 in 2004, Marcelo Cavarozzi AR$204.000 in 2004, and an unknown amount Stella González Cappa.

Among the members of the Ad-Hoc Committee-Resources belonging to the Social Sciences Ana María Lorandi received in 2003 AR$72.969 and Víctor Tau Anzoátegui AR$50.000 in 2000/2001 and AR$95.000 in 2003. Among the members  of the Ad-Hoc Committees of Materials, Roberto Salvarezza received in 2002 AR$193.000.

And finally, among the members of the National Committee of Ethics in Science and Technology of the SECYT Stella M. González Cappa, Alberto R. Kornblihtt, Armando Parodi and Otilia Vainstok received succulent grants. Dra. González Cappa has already accumulated since 1998 three different subsidies of three digits each one. ¿The other members Roberto Fernánez Prini, Samuel Finkielman, Noé Jitrik, Ernesto E. Maqueda, Fernando O. Ulloa and Aída Kemelmajer de Carlucci might have something to say about the Mafia Network or Chain of Happiness recently discovered in their own office? ¿None of these scientific experts in ethics suspected any irregularity?

IV. The National Universities and the complicity of their Science and Technology Secretariats

We had discovered that the Agency Coordinators -appointed by the Board of Directors to select the evaluators for each project- were also simultaneously or individually recipients of subsidies.  Then, we found out that the Agency grants subsidies to certain and specific Researcher of the CONICET and in return, the Board of Directors of the CONICET appoints them to its multiple Commissions and through its own Qualifications Board they are promoted within the scientific career.  And today, we are here to discover that this kind of unlawful association would not have been possible without the conspiracy of the Science and Technology Secretariats of the different National Universities and/or Schools that have been supported by the Evaluator Banks of the Secretariat of University Policies and the CONEAU -which establishes qualification boards, categorization and scores at individual and institutional levels- which are an intrinsic part in the eventual unlawful association and the criminal derivations thereof, regarding misappropriation, patrimonial usufruct of the position held and embezzlement.

Among the duties and responsibilities of the Science and Technology Secretaries of National Schools and/or Universities, the third bureaucratic leg on which the network leading the production of scientific knowledge would be placed is to follow up the Research Projects funded by national, provincial and/or university agencies, as well as to manage the Rendering of Accounts of expenditures made by those in charge of the funded Projects.

The officials responsible for granting subsidies to others and who, otherwise, grant the subsidies to themselves or third parties related due to friendship or kinship would have incurred in several crimes: first of all, in negotiations incompatible with holding public positions; secondly, in the development of an illegal network of misappropriation of decision-making structures of universities (President’s Office, Dean’s Office and Research Secretariats) and of academic institutions (CIN, CONEAU, CONICET, ANPCYT); thirdly, they would have become parties to an unlawful association further aggravated in view of the position held; fourthly, they would have incurred in what is known as patrimonial usufruct of the position held and embezzlement.

These conducts also apply to silence partners, who thrive sharing subsidies and projects (conducts set forth in articles 248, 256, 260, 261 and 210 of the Criminal Code), whereas the obligation of the academic official is to grant subsidies to those requesting them and not to incur in express incompatibilities granting them to themselves or partners or friends.  By the way, in order to carry out a full investigation to prove the existence of an unlawful association, information regarding relationships by blood and by marriage should be requested.  As it is known by any federal prosecutor, unlawful associations are, in the interior of the country –due to demographic reasons- a more intense and palpable reality than in the City of Buenos Aires.

As to the administrative management comptroller, note that National Universities employ different criteria in order to execute the audit function, with different degrees of accuracy and transparency, since to date no case of misappropriation or embezzlement has been discovered.  Some Universities have unified this responsibility in a Secretariat or centralized agency, and others have diversified it in as many Secretariats as Schools exist in their organizational charts.  In this case, note that, for some time, historian Daniel Campi has been in charge of the Science and Technology Secretariat of the National University of Tucumán, who, in 2002, received a subsidy by the Agency for an amount equal to AR$ 135,938.

In the National University of Córdoba, chemist Héctor Rubinstein leads the Science and Technology Secretariat, who in the previous period of 2005 was granted a subsidy for an amount still not determined.  In 2005, the Science and Technology Secretary of the Exact Sciences School of the National University of Rosario, Roberto Aquilano, received a subsidy for an uncertain amount.  In 2004, in the same University, the Science and Technology Secretary of the School of Medicine, Oscar Bottasso, received a subsidy for AR$ 213,125.  In 2001, the Dean of Chemical Sciences of the National University of Córdoba, Gerardo Fidelio, received the amount of AR$ 134,000.  And in 2005, the Vice-Dean of the Pharmacy School of the Litoral National University, Yolanda Bolzón de Lombardo, received another subsidy for an uncertain amount.

In the province of Buenos Aires, there were questioned events as well.  In 2003, in the Southern National University, the current Science and Technology Secretary, Osvaldo Agamennoni, received the amount of AR$ 147,727.  In 2005, in the National University of Mar del Plata, the Dean of Exact Sciences Gustavo Daleo and the Research Secretary Virginia Manzini received uncertain amounts of money.  In 2004, in the National University of San Martín, the Rector of the Politics School, Marcelo Cavarozzi, was granted a subsidy for AR$ 204,529; and the Research Secretary, Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, was granted a subsidy for AR$ 71,279.  And in the National University of Quilmes we have the case of a Departmental Advisor, biologist Pablo Ghiringhelli, who, in 2005, received a subsidy for an uncertain amount in Pesos; and biologist Mario R. Ermácora was subsidized in two consecutive periods, in 2004 and 2005.

In the case of the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), note that some of the six members of the Technical Advisory Committees (CTA, in Spanish), responsible for giving advice on the evaluation tasks of the different activities of the Science and Technology Secretariat of the UBA, would also be, hypothetically, essential parties to the reported network.  The following Researchers are included among the recipients of subsidies for amounts still undisclosed, granted by the Agency in 2005: Rodolfo Rothlin, member of the CTA No.1, of Human Health Sciences; Juan Manuel Borthagaray, member of the CTA No.3, of Engineering, Environmental Sciences and Habitat (who, in turn, in 2002 received another subsidy for AR$ 210,000); Alicia Godeas (PICT-2003 of AR$ 208,980) and Juan Pablo Rossi (who, in turn, in 2002 received another subsidy for AR$ 206,250), members of the CTA No.4, of Basic and Biological Sciences; Guillermo Artana and Jorge Alberto Sarquis, members of the CTA No.5, of Engineering, Environmental Sciences and Habitat; and the members of the CTA No.6 of Agro Sciences and Animal Health: Ana Pilosof, Jorge Casal, Alejandro Mentaberry, Angel Chiesa (plus another subsidy in 2002 for AR$203,708), and Alicia Fernández Cirelli, former Chairwoman of UBACYT during Menem’s administration.  Finally, we should contrast the lists of subsidy recipients against the former members of the same Technical Advisory Committees, which are not posted on the web, certainly removed so as not to leave any trace of the repeated crimes committed.

With regards to the Science and Technology Secretariats of every School of the UBA, note that in 2005, in the School of Dental Medicine, the Science and Technology Secretary, member of the CTA No.1, Enri Santiago Borda, obtained another PICT for an uncertain amount.  In 2004, in the Pharmacy and Biochemistry School, the Science and Technology Secretary, Daniel Turyn, received a subsidy for AR$ 212,925.  And in 2002, in the current Research Commission of the School of Medicine, Dr. Daniel Sordelli, was awarded a subsidy for AR$ 210,000.  Likewise, we have discovered that the following are among the recipients of funds at the UBA provided by the Agency: the Philosophy and Literature Dean, Héctor Trinchero, received AR$ 170,000, the Pharmacy Dean, Alberto Boveris, received AR$ 140,000, the Pharmacy Vice-Dean, Graciela Ferraro, received an uncertain amount, in 2002 the Medicine Vice-Dean, Ricardo Gelpi, was granted a subsidy for AR$ 161,812; and in 2004 the former Social Sciences Dean, Fortunato Mallimacci, received AR$ 362,186.  Among the staff of the National Science and Technology Secretariat we run into the unforgettable Hugo Levato, the one who assured from the USA, during the Military Process, that those Researchers, who were later “missing” were properly released.  For this purpose, in 2004, Hugo Levato received a subsidy for AR$ 231,422.  And in the case of the CONEAU, two Directors, sociologist and former official of the National University of Quilmes, Ernesto Villanueva, and sociologist Carlos Pedro Krotsch, received the amount of AR$ 155,354 and an uncertain amount, respectively, from the Agency in 2002 and 2005.

We have also noticed rare cases of researchers subsidized twice, i.e., subsidies granted to the same person and/or homonym, in two projects relevant to different academic units.  This has been the case of Researcher Alberto Parma of the Center of the National University who appears with a subsidy granted in 2005 in the Medical Sciences Area, and another one granted in the same period in the Cattle Technology Area.  Researcher Jorge Calvo of La Patagonia University, and simultaneously, member of the Qualifications Board of the CONICET, appears subsidized in the same period of 2005 in two different Projects, one in the Earth Sciences Area, and the other one in the Area of Biological Sciences of Organisms.  And the case of Researcher Emilio Malchiodi of the UBA, who appears subsidized in the Area of Biological Sciences and in the Area of Medical Sciences as well.

In the case of the National University of Rosario, we have found out a peculiar example of a married couple who was fortunate enough to have their projects founded by the ANPCYT, not only the project of the husband, biologist Ricardo Duffard in 2005, but also the project of his wife, environmental technologist Ana María Duffard née Evangelista, for AR$ 258,333 accrued in 2004.  Both subsidies added up amount to over half a million pesos received by the household in a couple of years.

Finally, the fourth leg of the table upon which the Argentine science is poorly served would be the Secretariat of University Policies and the CONEAU, both reporting to the National Ministry of Education.  Said institutions are responsible for categorizing the so called teachers researchers and higher education programs. To date, through alleged categorizations and scores, both institutions have been subject to any kind of tampering and conspiracy, from which university teachers or researchers pertaining to the private sector have the privilege to be exempt.  That is to say, members of private institutions or universities are exceptionally exempt from being subject to Kafkaesque and Caudine forks of a huge state bureaucracy.

V. Conclusions

 

In order to complete this investigation, we should get the List of Subsidies year 2006 and match the List of Subsidies of the Agency with the Lists of the Advisory Committees at the CONICET relevant to years 2000/2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004; this way we will be able to understand the management chart of the reported network.  Likewise, this information should be matched with the Lists of Promotions granted by the Qualifications Board at the CONICET, and with the Lists of those categorized for the Incentives created by different National Universities.  It should be added that the methodology is the same as that firstly implemented in the Bernardo Houssay Awards, awarded in 1987, then reported giving full names, and where one of the organizers is a member of the current Qualifications Board of the CONICET.

On all these Lists, more than a dozen of repetitions come to our attention, such as the case of Eduardo Cánepa, Rodolfo Sánchez, Juan José Poderoso, Héctor Targovnik, Mario G. Murer, Osvaldo Uchitel, Mario Albornoz, Carlos Altamirano, Víctor Tau Anzoátegui, Carlos M. Previtali, Analía Artabe, María Isabel Colombo, Beatriz Coira and Amelia Rubiolo, who appear as recipients in repeated Calls for Bids.  The most shocking example seems to be the case of Poderoso, since the records show he received a third subsidy in 2005.

The questions worth asking are of legal and moral nature: Are the academic events managed by these Coordinators legally and morally valid?  Are we facing a criminal case, and if so, is it applicable to bring charges or not?  In case of a crime, should the acts of the accused individuals be reconsidered and in that case, should they return the money received, or not?  What happens with those various projects that were rejected and whose evaluators were appointed by the Coordinators reported herein?  And what would be the responsibilities of the Chairmen of the ANPCYT and the CONICET Lino Barañao and Eduardo Charreau, and their senior directors Tulio Del Bono and Daniel Filmus?

All this investigation leads to the old Socratic enigma as to whether it is possible to democratize the mafia or not, preventing power abuse and willful repetitions of the benefits distributed, or whether it is otherwise an impossible task.  So far, we should analyze the advantages and least risk of errors of distinguishing works carried out over subsidizing projected works which eventual recipients must be previously categorized by a polluted state bureaucracy.

Finally, to sum up, the struggle against corruption in the field of science may only succeed from the political side, and no hope may be placed in the prosecution thereof.  So politics should -within the framework of democratic rights and guarantees- perform the moral cleaning and structural change.

Documentary Source

Call for  Research Proposals -2000-2004
http://www.agencia.gov.ar/convocatorias/foncyt_convocatorias_anteriores_pict.php

Call for  Research Proposals -2005
http://www.agencia.gov.ar/convocatorias/documentosconvocatorias/TIPO_A_Y_B.pdf

Non-Accepted Proposals in 2004
http://www.agencia.gov.ar/convocatorias/documentosconvocatorias/pict2004_no_admis.pdf

Non- Accepted Proposals in 2003http://www.agencia.gov.ar/convocatorias/documentosconvocatorias/pict2003_no_admis.pdf

 

Appendix III

 

Attorney’s General Office

Public Prosecutor’s Office of Administrative Investigations [FIA, in Spanish]

 

///To General Prosecutor in charge of the FIA:

 

These proceedings have been filed based on the report included on pages 1/10, supplemented on pages 14/15 and 16/17, filed by Mr. Eduardo R. Saguier, which description has already been made in my previous reports included on pages 18 and 31/32; reference is made thereto for brevity.

 

As stated in the previous report, included on pages 31/32, based on the breadth and ambiguity of the report, this Prosecutor’s Office has narrowed down the purpose under investigation. Thus, it was limited to the alleged incompatibilities that may appear in connection with area coordinators of the Scientific and Technological Project Assessment System - Fund for Scientific and Technological Research [Sistema de Evaluación de Proyectos Científicos y Tecnológicos – Fondo para la Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (SECTyT-FONCYT)].

 

Specifically, this FIA conducted research on the procedure applied to select peers that assess projects submitted by area coordinators of the SEPCyT, in the PICT (Scientific and Technological Research Project) financing line.

 

                                               II

Production of proof by this FIA:

 

1.- On January 3rd, 2007, an official notice was sent to the President of the National Agency for Scientific-Technological Promotion [Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científico-Tecnológica], reporting to the National Science and Technology Secretariat, Dr. José Lino S. Barañao, requesting him to send the rules regulating the Agency’s activities, the power of said body to handle and award subsidies, its procedures, Code of Conduct, etc. and the payroll of authorities, as well as a specific report on the current incompatibilities to be awarded a subsidy (page 13).

 

2.- On September 10th, 2007, a new official notice was sent to the President of the Agency, requesting the following: 1.- Copy of the FONCyT operating manuals, created by means of a resolution issued by the Science and Technology Secretariat of the Ministry of Culture and Education, at this Agency’s suggestion, as per Section 12 of Decree 1660/96.  2- Copy of the quality assessment and certification system operating manuals, whereby every activity promoted within this Agency’s scope should be processed and accepted, as per Section 13 Decree 1660/96. 3.- Roles and functions of this Agency's Area Coordinators. 4.- Copy of FONCyT Grant Regulation. 5.- List of grant and/or subsidy recipients from January 2003 to date, stating each recipient registration data. Likewise, it was also requested to accurately indicate what the concept “Trained and Active Researcher” stands for (page 30).

 

3.- On October 10th, 2007 and once again on November 8th, 2007, the President of the Agency was requested to send a list of grant and/or subsidy recipients from January 2003 to date, stating each recipient registration data. Likewise, he was informed that the information required by this Prosecutor’s Office through official letter dated September 10th, 2007 had not been answered (pages 36 and 38).

 

4.- On April 28th, 2008, an official notice was sent to the President of the Agency requesting a list of Science and Technology projects awarded a grant (with PICT, PICTO and PME financing lines) from January 2003 to date, indicating the full name of every person involved in such projects along with their identification data and the sums awarded to each project (page 41).

 

5.- On the same date, Mr. Eduardo R. Saguier, accusing party, was summoned to file his deposition on May 20th, 2008 (pages 42/44).

 

6.- On May 30th, 2008 an official notice was sent to the President of the Agency, requesting him, based on the huge amount of information sent by said body, to send said information in magnetic format to facilitate its review (page 48).

 

7.- After reviewing the documentation sent by the Agency, an official notice was sent on July 10th, 2008, requesting the submission of fifty (50) project process files.  This request was filed once again on August 19th, 2008 (pages 51 overleaf and 57 overleaf).

 

8.- On July 10th, 2008 an official notice was sent to the Nation’s General Auditor, asking him if that Auditing Body had drafted any audit report related to the subsidies granted by the Agency to Science and Technology Projects, with PICT, PICTO and PME financing lines, from January 2003 to date (page 52).

 

9.- On October 29th, 2008, by virtue of reviewing the documentation sent by the Agency, a new official notice was sent to the Agency’s President, requesting him to send the documentation supporting the appointment of peers by Coordinators, in all areas, to perform the PICT 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 Project quality assessments, and for PME 2003 and PME 2006 Projects.  It was requested that this documentation include the names of the selected peers for each field and the relevant Coordinator in each case (page 63).

 

10.- On December 1st, 2008, by virtue of not having completely satisfied the demands set forth on the previous official notice, a new official notice was sent to the Agency, repeating the request previously filed (page 68).

 

11.- On May 7th, 2009, Mr. Roberto Gargarella was summoned to file a deposition on June 2nd, 2009; which was then rescheduled, due to problems with the deponent’s notice service, for June 30th, 2009 and was finally filed on August 13th, 2009 (pages 90/91).

12.- On August 31st, 2009 an official notice was sent to the Agency’s President requesting information on the name, address and national identity documents of the people that acted as secretaries in the following areas of the SEPCyT, during the terms requested: 1.- Medical Sciences in 2006.  2.- IT, Communications and Electronics in 2006.  3.- Economic Sciences and Law in 2007 (page 93).

 

13.- On October 9th, 2009, the Secretary of the Medical Science Area of the SEPCyT-FONCyT, Ms. María de los Ángeles Apólito, was summoned to filed her deposition (pages 101/102) on Friday, November 6th, 2009 at 9:30 am: the Secretary of the IT, Communications and Electronics Area of the SPECyT-FONCyT, Ms. Teresa Bonelli was summoned on Friday, November 6th, 2009 (pages 103/104). And finally, the Secretary of the Economics and Law Area of the SEPCyT-FONCyT, Ms. Mónica Mendoza, for Friday, November 6th, 2009, who finally filed her deposition on November 11th, 2009 (pages 107/108).

 

14.- On November 12th, 2009, an official notice was sent to the Honorable Judge of the Federal Criminal and Correctional Court No. 8, attaching certified copies of these proceedings, based on a decision passed in Case No. 10152/09, dated October 26th, 2009. Likewise, it was requested to authorize this FIA’s staff to review and take photocopies of Case No. 10152/09 from its records (page 113).

 

15.- On March 8th, 2010, an official notice was sent to the Deputy Ombudsman of the Office of Public Defense, requesting the submission of authenticated copy of Proceedings No. 6684/08, titled “Solicitud de Intervención vinculada con presunta persecución por parte de un organismo dependiente del Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación Productiva” [Intervention request related to the alleged persecution by an agency reporting to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation] from its records. The official notice was resent on April 14th, 2010 (pages 130 and 165).

 

16.- On March 12th, 2010, Researcher Pablo Manfredo Alexander was summoned to file a deposition on April 7th, 2010.  The deposition was finally rescheduled for April 14th, 2010 (page 163).  Lic. Martín Virdis was summoned to file a deposition on April 9th, 2010.  The deposition was finally rescheduled for April 13th, 2010 (page 162). Besides, the Secretary of IT, Communications and Electronics Area, Ms. Victoria Castro, was summoned for April 9th, 2010 (pages 153/154).

 

17.- On August 5th, 2010 an official notice was sent to the Honorable Judge of the Federal Criminal and Correctional Court No. 8, Court Clerk’s Office No. 15, in order to request, before deciding on these proceedings, withdrawal of File No. 10152/09, titled “Agencia Nacional para la Promoción Científica y otros s/Delito de Acción Pública [National Agency for Scientific and Technological Promotion on Public Action Crime]” from its records, for a 48 hour term (page 176).

 

18.- The lists of

SEPCyT Area Coordinators from 2003 to 2010 was timely downloaded from the Internet, www.agencia.secyt.gov.ar, and attached hereto (pages 24 to 28; 60/61; 75/76 and 177/178).

 

19.- Copy of Law 25200, relative to the compulsory nature of providing information on academic, scientific and technological evaluation, was also attached (page 179).

 

                                               III

As to the different depositions taken by this office, we would like to highlight some aspects related to certain contradictions or unawareness of the deponents. Note that they currently work or have worked as secretaries of the different areas.

 

A.                Regarding the records kept by the area coordinators on peers selected for the evaluation, it was stated that:

We are aware that coordinators keep those records, but they do not submit them. I understand that it is not mandatory to submit the record of each evaluator containing his/her relevant project, at any time during the process. Though coordinators must submit, at the end of each call, the evaluator bank to be posted on the Web site of the Agency and a report on the process (e.g., explaining the number of evaluators called for each area, percentage of foreigners called or effectively involved, etc.) (Of the deposition of Apólito, pages 101/102).

Records of peers participating in the evaluations are kept by coordinators. At first, there was only one coordinator per area, but, since it was a huge burden for that person, the Board of the Agency decided to increase the number of Coordinators per area.  Ever since (in 2003 I believe) there have been three coordinators per area. I do not know how they keep record on the identity of peers. Once the projects are evaluated, the Secretary only receives a sheet with the area projects and their relevant qualifications and evaluations, but without the evaluator's identity (Of the deposition of Boselli, pages 103/104).

 

I do not know if there are records in that connection. I do know that each area coordinators are the ones in charge of choosing the peers that will evaluate the projects (Of the deposition of Mendoza, pages 107/108).

 

I did not have records on peers selected by coordinators (Of the deposition of Virdis, page 162).

 

B         Regarding the procedure where there is a conflict of interest when an area coordinator submits a project to be evaluated:

-    I do not know if that is written somewhere. In practice, there are two ways to avoid the conflict of interests. The first one is that the coordinator involved in the project should leave the certification meeting upon evaluating his/her project and, then, the other two coordinators would be in charge of selecting the peers to evaluate that project. The other way that can be used to avoid conflicts is to forward the project to another similar area, where applicable. In this case, the entire evaluation process is performed by another area (Apólito).

In these cases, the coordinator does not decide who will evaluate his/her project. I do not remember having a case like this in the commissions I was in charge of. I do not know how these cases have been solved in practice. What I know is that, starting this year, the Board decided that the FONCyT’s responsible person should send coordinators’ projects to be evaluated by peers abroad, for a more independent evaluation… Regarding FONCyT’s mechanism to evaluate projects submitted by coordinators it has changed throughout the years. At first (I believe until 2001) coordinators’ projects were sent to peers chosen by some Agency’s authority.  Once the evaluations were done, projects approved by quality received a fixed subsidy granted by the Agency's Board, for an amount quite lower than the grant awarded for a project in a public call.

After 2001, the Board approved to change the procedure, enabling projects submitted by coordinators to compete with the rest of projects and, so, to be awarded larger subsidy amounts (Boselli).  I never experienced such situation in any of the two commissions I led. I am not aware of the procedure in those cases. I understand that the coordinator should not choose the peer that will evaluate his/her project....To me, in my personal opinion, neither a coordinator, nor a member of the Board should be authorized to submit research projects if they are in office (Mendoza).

Regarding the selection of peers, area secretaries are involved when there are projects that pose a conflict of interests with the area coordinator. This is when the coordinator him/herself or somebody from his/her research team submits projects for evaluation. In those cases, the area secretary selects three possible peers, whose names are escalated to the FONCyT evaluation coordinator (who is the evaluation system coordinator) and the proposal is dealt with by the coordinator him/herself, along with FONCyT’s Board (Of the deposition of Castro, pages 153/154).

 

I have never had a case like this in my area, but I have always understood that, in such cases, the person in charge of sending the project for peer evaluation was the joint-coordinator (Virdis).

 

C. Regarding the anonymity of peers:

 

Anonymity of peers is a condition set from the SEPCyT-FONCyT foundation in 1997.  From 2000 to 2001 there was a law stating that the identity of those evaluating other people should be publicly disclosed, but this law did not specify whether the identity of people evaluating projects should be disclosed or not. Therefore, the Agency keeps the anonymity of peers, convinced that it is a way to ensure the evaluator opinion’s independence (Boselli).

 

Once the peer evaluates the project (note that projects are always evaluated by more than one peer, i.e., each project has two or three evaluators), the evaluation form is sent by e-mail to the coordinator, and, once the evaluations of each project are received, the coordinator sends them via e-mail to the Area Secretary or Consultant. These evaluations are sent without the name of the peer who evaluated each case. The intention is to keep the evaluator anonymous. Moreover, if the name of the evaluator appears somewhere in the form, we are instructed to delete it. To the question about where the anonymity of the peers comes from, she answered: I do not know. I understand that it is to avoid conflicts (Mendoza).

 

Along the same line, Dr. Armando Bertanou, Chairman of the Agency’s Board, answered to this FIA: In view of the matters described, note that, in connection with the appointment of peers, this body complies with Decree No. 1660/96 as to the dual stage of evaluation, the creation of a bank of evaluators, the confidentiality of evaluations and the plurality of peers involved in the process. In this regard, we state that the regulation does not foresee a specific process to appoint peers, which does not mean, as stated in your Official Notice, a violation of the transparency and objectivity of acts of government.

 

 

IV

            On the other hand, Section 3 of Law No. 25200 sets forth: “Every person evaluated will have the right to request the name of the evaluating jury.  Institutions cannot withhold said information.”

 

            Against this background, Pedro Manfredo Alexander, researcher of the CONICET, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, filed a claim, by virtue of the provisions included in the aforementioned law, because he was not informed the names of the evaluators analyzing his regulatory report 2001/2002.

 

Thus, File No. 660/04-SG-OMESyA in CONICET’s records was created. In his deposition (page 163 overleaf), to this FIA’s question on the status of process, Alexander answered: I really do not know because, after that, I received a letter from the CONICET informing me that the report would be re-evaluated, and the report was later qualified as accepted. I understand that the process “remained pending.”

 

Likewise, to this FIA’s question about the process of evaluations and, mainly, the anonymity of evaluators, based on his experience as CONICET’s researcher and as to the projects submitted with the FONCyT, he answered: First of all, Law 25200 is not observed. In my case, based on my claims, the CONICET informed me that I had been evaluated by the area commission. In my opinion, this answer was a stratagem to avoid disclosing the names of evaluators. As for the FONCyT, we have submitted other projects that did not receive subsidies; but, in these cases, we did not ask for the names of evaluators. We received an evaluation report without names.

Teresa Boselli, an Agency’s official, stated in her deposition: In 2001 or 2002 there was a law stating that the identity of people’s evaluators should be publicly disclosed, but the law did not specify whether the identity of projects’ evaluators should be disclosed or not. Therefore, the Agency keeps the anonymity of peers, convinced that it is a way to ensure the evaluator opinion’s independence.

 

                                               V

From reviewing the documentation attached hereto, it can be seen that coordinators and joint coordinators of some areas submitted projects to be funded with the PICT facility.

This review included 27 PICT files submitted from 2002 to 2006 (timely requested by this FIA as evidence) and coordinators appointed by the Agency between 2003 and 2007.

Now therefore, we can mention:

1)                          PICT 2005. Code 31541. Project Leader: Arzt, Eduardo Simón. Medical Science Area Coordinator from 2003 to 2006 and Joint Coordinator of the area in 2007.

2)                          PICT 2003. Code 5-13424. Project Leader: Arzt, Eduardo Simón. Medical Science Area Coordinator from 2003 to 2006 and Joint Coordinator of the area in 2007.

3)                          PICT 2006. Code 108. Project Leader: Arzt, Eduardo Simón. Medical Science Area Coordinator from 2003 to 2006 and Joint Coordinator of the area in 2007.

4)                          PICT 2005. Code: 31660. Project Leader: Cabada, Marcelo Oscar. Biological Science Area Coordinator in 2003 and 2004.  Cell and Molecule Biological Science Area Coordinator in 2005 and 2006.

5)                          PICT 2003. Code 1-15092. Project Leader: Cabada, Marcelo Oscar. Biological Science Area Coordinator in 2003 and 2004.  Cell and Molecule Biological Science Area Coordinator in 2005 and 2006.

6)                          PICT 2004. Code 21592. Researcher member of the project: Carelli, Ricardo. IT, Communications and Electronics Area Joint Coordinator from 2005 to 2007.

7)                          PICT 2002. Code 08-10849. Project’s responsible person: Mroginski, Luis Amado. Cattle, Farm, Forest and Fishing Technology Area Coordinator in 2003.

8)                          PICT 2002. Code 09-12085. Project Leader: Añon, María Cristina. Food Technology Area Coordinator from 2003 to 2006.

9)                          PICT 2002. Code 05-12397. Project Leader: Beaugé, Luis. Medical Science Area Joint Coordinator from 2003 to 2005.

10)                      PICT 2005. Code 38073. Project Leader: Beaugé, Luis. Medical Science Area Joint Coordinator from 2003 to 2005.

11)                       PICT 2002. Code 14-12174. Researcher member of the project: Schalamuk, Isidoro Bernardo. Energy and Mining Technology and Mechanic and Material Technology Area Joint Coordinator from 2003 to 2005.

12)                      PICT 2003. Code 10-17348. Project Leader: Schalamuk, Isidoro Bernardo. Energy and Mining Technology and Mechanic and Material Technology Area Joint Coordinator from 2003 to 2005.

13)                      PICT 2003. Code 1-15042. Project Leader: Cazzulo, Juan José. Biological Sciences Area Joint Coordinator of 2003.

14)                      PICT 2005. Code 32034. Researcher member of the project: Helbling, Walter. Organism and System Biological Science Area Joint Coordinator from 2005 to 2007.

15)                      PICT 2005. Code 38052. Researcher member of the project: Helbling, Walter. Organism and System Biological Science Area Joint Coordinator from 2005 to 2007.

16)                      PICT 2006. Code 934. Researcher member of the project: Gugliotta, Luis. Chemical Technology Area Coordinator in 2006 and 2007.

VI.

            59.25% of the reviewed files (this is only a sample selected by this FIA) have a conflict of interests. Note that, an area coordinator (or joint coordinator) submitted a project, whether as project leader or member researcher, to receive financing.

 

            Thus, within the scope of the operation conducted in the evaluation area, coordinators (who submitted their projects, each in their relevant area) are the ones who select the peers that will perform project evaluations. Therefore, at this point of the investigation, I have not received any information on the Agency having a formal procedure in place for these cases.

 

            Logically, the Director of Management Control and Legal Affairs Department of the Agency (see pages 183/193) has stated a different opinion; however, from the investigation carried out by this FIA (within the strict framework it has been limited to), neither could, for example, the existence of transparent and efficient challenging and excuse mechanisms be confirmed, nor the actual existence of records on project evaluators (which, naturally, are not attached hereto) or the availability to request them upon evaluated people’s claims.

 

            Procedures applied upon a conflict of interests are not clear or accurate. There are no control mechanisms that would enable to state the necessary transparency that should govern this kind of situations; even so if we considered that the PICT facility would be the most important facility of this Agency.  In this connection, Teresa Boselli said in her deposition:

““the most visible facility and the one the Agency has devoted more efforts for defining clearer procedures is the PICT facility.  The effort made in this facility can be accounted for the fact that it is the one the scientific community mostly applies to.”

                                                           VII

            So, based on the report, this FIA has performed an investigation that, even though, on the one hand, the specific situations justifying the filing of a disciplinary action could not be found (a legal action has already been filed, Case File No. 10.152/09, Federal Criminal and Correctional Court No. 8, Court Clerk’s Office No. 15; but there are no elements in this case to reach to a different conclusion), it has been proved that there is a procedure that does not seem to meet the basic requirements ensuring the necessary transparency in managing public funds

 

            As already stated, this could be seen, in particular, in the lack of a clear mechanism that would allow explaining how financing of certain projects was approved, and, if people with counter interests have participated in this procedure (coordinators or joint coordinators choosing peers who may have evaluated projects submitted by the coordinators or joint coordinators themselves).

 

            Notwithstanding the confidentiality duty an administrative procedure may be subject to, particularly, when it comes to granting funds, the State should proceed so as to enable review of said mechanism, even after granting the funds.  Note that, specifically, in this investigation, the laxity of the procedure followed in these cases has been an obstacle to spot out the specific irregularities, hindering an accurate revision of the situations that may frequently occur (section V sets forth, to the extent of certainty this preliminary investigation allows for, that the percentage of cases where coordinators or joint coordinators submit projects for evaluation would be high- 59.25% of the sample selected).

 

            I am certain that this facility procedure performed by a State Agency should be able to determine: 1.- who chooses the evaluators; 2.- what projects are evaluated by them; 3.- the challenging and/or excuse mechanisms of evaluators; and 4.- access by the evaluated parties to the certification proving the above mentioned facts (even though it is somehow preferable to do this at the end of the procedure).

 

                                               VIII

            Against this background, I believe it is convenient to send certified copy of this Case File No. 23.612/1592 to the Honorable National Congress to assess the applicability of inserting the control mechanisms for such situations where conflicts of interests occur in the laws regulating the Agency’s operation; notwithstanding Law No. 25200 that seems not to be currently applied by this Agency's officials to the cases under review and which seems to have had the same spirit.

 

            Likewise, I understand it would be applicable to send a copy of this report to the Honorable Judge of Federal Criminal and Correctional Court No. 8, Court Clerk's Office No. 15, as to Case File No. 10152/09 in its records.

 

Prosecutor’s Office of Administrative Investigations No. 4, August 26th, 2010.

 

RICARDO RENOM

Administrative Investigation Prosecutor

 

 

///Buenos Aires, August 31st, 2010.  Seen the above mentioned proceedings and the previous reports, be it ordered as requested herein.

 

GUILLERMO FELIPE NOAILLES

GENERAL PROSECUTOR

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix IV

 

                                                                                                                                 497

Judiciary of the Nation

 

///Buenos Aires, 14th April, 2011.-

            HAVING REVIEWED THE RELEVANT PROCEEDINGS:

            In order to pass a resolution on this case No. 10152/09, entitled “Agencia Nacional para la Promoción Científica y otros s/Delito de Acción Pública [National Agency for Scientific and Technological Promotion on Public Action Crime],” from the records of this Federal Court No. 8, Court Clerk’s Office No. 15.

            AND CONSIDERING:

            1.- Whereas these proceedings have been filed based on a report filed in an ordinary court by Mr. Eduardo Ricardo Saguier on June 8th, 2009, against the National Agency for Scientific and Technical Promotion (ANPCyT), for the vicious distribution of Pesos 650 million in subsidies between the years 1997 and 2007.  Within the same report, he also accused the authorities of the CONICET, the CONEAU, the Science and Technology Secretariats of National Universities, and the Ethics Committee of the National Ministry of Science and Technology of participating in the allocation of said subsidies (page 1).

            Thus, Mr. Saguier appeared to file a deposition with the acting Prosecutor (pages 7/8), ratifying the report and submitting a writing describing the accusation, see pages 5/6. In his deposition, he specifically mentioned that the University Policy Secretariat is in charge of allocating incentives and categorizing researcher teachers from every National University, and that this Secretariat is, in turn, supervised by the Agency.  He added that all national universities have Science and Technology Secretariats that control the settlement of accounts of researchers who are granted subsidies and that these Secretariats would have also received subsidies, at least the ones mentioned in his writing.

He also said that the CONEAU (National Commission of University Evaluation and Accreditation) is the entity that should certify Master’s and PhD programs, and is made up mostly of teachers-researchers who receive incentives and subsidies from the Agency; and that two members of its Board have also received subsidies from the Agency.  In turn, he mentioned that, within the lower structure of the Agency itself, there are fifty coordinators who received subsidies from the entity, when they are the ones who determine the experts that will evaluate each project submitted.  Moreover, he mentioned that the Science and Technical Ethics Committee of the Ministry of Science and Technology issued an opinion, upon request of the President of the Agency at that time, stating that coordinators have not failed to comply with any provision upon receiving subsidies, clarifying that four members of said committee received, in turn, subsidies themselves.  Besides, regarding his case in particular, he mentioned that his biennial reports from 2004 and 2006 had been rejected, stating that, according to article 41 of the CONICET’s professional by-laws, a researcher is disqualified upon rejection of two consecutive reports and that the decisions were made by the members of the History and Anthropology Advisory Committee.  He also added that, as from the rejection of the second report, the aforementioned article 41 sets forth the possibility of a “discussion” between the applicant and a committee appointed to that end, and he said that he then objected the entire committee because its members were from different fields, they were not peers or had lower rank positions, and because they were also recipients of subsidies from the Agency, which was no assurance of fairness, equity or rationality, considering that he has been reporting the entire incompatibility system in subsidy granting.  He added that the head of the Agency granted subsidies to advisors and directors from the CONICET and, the CONICET’s Board appointed subsidy recipients as evaluators in advisory committees, and that this influence peddling network has been used against him to willfully exclude him from his researcher career.  Finally, he requested to be considered as accuser.

            In connection with the writing submitted along with his deposition, it can be clearly determined that the members of each reported agency have been irregularly granted subsidies and he added details to the arguments stated in his deposition.

            On pages 15/16, the Honorable Judge of the First Trial Criminal Court No. 8 resolved to decline jurisdiction on the matter, sending the case to the Federal Court of Appeals on Criminal and Correctional Matters in order to appoint the court that would continue dealing with the case. On the other hand, the court rejected Mr. Saguier’s request to be considered as accuser for not complying with provisions set forth in article 83 of the relevant code.


                                                                                                                                 498

Judiciary of the Nation

 

 

            Being the case received by this body, the Prosecutor was served noticed thereof under provisions of article 180 of the Argentine Code of Criminal Procedures, and the CONICET was requested to submit File No. 336/02 – created based on Mr. Saguier’s report, which was finally sent in page 24.

            Pages 32/33 include the opinion issued by the Prosecutor, who understood that the criminal action had already been filed for being timely forwarded to the acting Prosecutor’s Office for investigation, ordering further investigation and requesting additional production of proof.

            In turn, Eduardo Ricardo Saguier filed on page 36 a new writing requesting to be considered as accuser in the relevant case.  It was decided to summon Mr. Saguier to file a new deposition, postponing the decision on his request thereafter.  Thus, on page 182, it was decided to deem his request of being considered as accuser applicable, in particular, in connection with alleged acts of retaliation and discrimination against him, being this decision later supplemented by the Court of Appeals in Criminal Matters, which resolved to extend his capacity as accuser to the entire case (page 391).

On page 41, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation sent case file No. 2209/06, whereby the report of the work performed by Dr. Saguier during 2004/2005 is declared unacceptable.

            In turn, the relevant area of the CONICET was requested to send the Personal Record of Mr. Saguier, which was finally sent on page 46, and the CONICET’s Legal Affair Department was required to inform on the regulation or provisions that govern subsidy granting.  On pages 150/173 the Operating Manual for Fund Allocation and Account Settlement approved by means of Resolution No. 2667/99 was sent.  In that connection, the National Agency for Scientific and Technical Promotion also sent, on page 307, the instruments regulating the PICT (Scientific and Technological Research Projects) calls, from the year the entity was created until 2007.  Moreover, the AGN, Anti-Corruption Office, the Office of Public Defense and the Prosecutor’s Office of Administrative Investigation were requested to inform on the current status of the proceedings filed due to Mr. Saguier’s report on possible irregularities in subsidy allocation by the CONICET (page 49).

            This way, the National Ombudsman informed on pages 70/73 that Mr. Saguier’s report was served to the Nation’s General Auditor, sending, on pages 74/149 copies of the proceedings, whereby it can be seen that, upon becoming aware that the Appeal filed by Mr. Saguier against the resolution issued by the CONICET was pending, it was deemed applicable to suspend the intervention of the Ombudsman.  It was finally resolved to conclude the proceedings, considering that the interested parties had been counseled and the problems stated had been dealt with, therefore the case was filed.

            In turn, the Anti-Corruption Office sent, on page 174, certified copies of Folder No. 8038, along with the reports sent by the Nation’s Auditing Office on said proceedings, and the Prosecutor’s Office of Administrative Investigations sent, on page 176, certified photocopy of File No. 23612/1592, from its records, related to the facts under review.  Besides, the Nation’s Auditing Office informed on pages 177/179 that no audits specifically related to the facts reported by Saguier had been conducted, although it was mentioned that subsidies from the FONCyT, especially during the fiscal year 1997, had been audited.  In this connection, said Office sent, on pages 188/209, authenticated copies of said report, whereby it can be seen that general remarks were made, such as: that, due to failure to develop a satisfactory management information system it was not possible to perform a correct evaluation of the Agency’s mechanism; that the FONTAR, FONCyT, UCGAL and UFFA do not have Procedure Manuals in place or a formal organization chart approved; or that the Agency does not have a standardized methodology to audit projects.  Thus, certain recommendations were later submitted regarding the detailed facts, but nothing was mentioned about any situation that may be related to the alleged vicious distribution of subsidies reported.


                                                                                                                                 499

Judiciary of the Nation

 

            Likewise, the Nation's Auditing Office sent on pages 214/291 certified copies of File No. 84/1005-SG-OMESyA, created due to a filing made by Eduardo R. Saguier regarding alleged irregularities in the CONICET.  Based on the proceedings, it can be seen that the issues stated in said filing exceed the scope of the SIGEN, pursuant to Law 24156, as well as the entity’s verification possibilities within its legally assigned powers, and, consequently, specific audits or filings were not performed in connection thereto, other than the work performed at the CONICET, which results in the preparation of different Internal Control System Evaluation Reports issued every year.

            Besides, the CONICET sent on page 305 copy of file No. 3987/04, whereby Eduardo R. Saguier’s report for the work conducted in the years 2002/2003 was not accepted.

            Following next, on pages 293/295, the ANPCyT was requested to send several files related to the granting of subsidies mentioned by Saguier as irregular.  This was answered on pages 319/338, sending the requested documentation and explaining the operation framework those records fall within. So, as to the Scientific and Technology Project Evaluation System (SEPCyT), it was explained that it intends to evaluate the quality, applicability and merit of projects.  As regards the quality, it is determined by specialists, called peers, who are chosen, based on their knowledge in the field, by the Coordinator Committee of each of the seventeen scientific and technology areas.  One or a few projects from the same call are evaluated and the identity of the peer remains anonymous.

            Regarding the applicability, its evaluation is in charge of ad-hoc committees.  The guidelines to be considered to analyze projects are disclosed to the authors upon making the call.  Members of the ad-hoc committee should have a broad vision of the research field and they should be aware of the priorities, in order to set an order of merits for projects previously approved in terms of quality.

            After that, the CONICET sent certified copy of file No. 3642/04, whereby the report made by Eduardo R. Saguier, for the years 2001/2002, was accepted.  In turn, the Prosecutor’s Office of Administrative Investigations sent, on pages 418/425, copy of the report resulting from file No. 23612/1592, which states that in 59.25% of evaluated cases, an area coordinator or joint coordinator submitted a project as project leader or member researcher, to receive the subsidy, and those very same coordinators were in charge of selecting project evaluators.  It was stated that the procedures applied upon a conflict of interests are not clear or accurate; notwithstanding the above, it was marked that this is because the Agency does not have a formal procedure set for these cases, there being no control mechanisms necessary to provide the process with the required transparency, finally stating that specific situations justifying the filing of a disciplinary action could not be found.  Finally, certified copy of the case file was sent to the Honorable National Congress to assess the applicability of inserting the control mechanisms for such situations where conflicts of interests occur in the laws regulating the Agency’s operation;

            Moreover, on page 431, the SGPCyT [ANPCyT] was requested to send all the rules governing the activity of said body and determining its powers to manage and allocate subsidies, as well as a specific report on current incompatibilities to become a subsidy recipient.  This request was answered on page 436, stating that this body’s activity and powers are regulated by Decrees No. 1660/96 and 289/98 informing, in connection with the procedures and incompatibilities to become a subsidy recipient, that the institution makes public calls, including in each call general specifications the guidelines, terms and condition to become a subsidy recipient.


 

                                                                                                                                 500

Judiciary of the Nation

 

            Then, Lic. Carlos Cassanello, Director of the Scientific and Technology Research Fund (FONCyT) was summoned to file a deposition, appearing on December 2nd, 2010.  His deposition is included on page 448.  He said that there is no general rule whatsoever, apart from those included in each public call, setting incompatibilities to become a recipient of subsidies granted by the National Agency for Scientific and Technological Promotion.  Then, being asked to explain the scope of the provision included in the “Project Submission” section of the “2002 Specifications of the Call to Submit Scientific and Technological Research Projects,” whereby it is stated that authorities from the SeCyT, the ANPCyT, evaluation system coordinators and members of the FONCyT could submit projects, he explained that, until 2000, each Area had only one coordinator and, up to then, they did not submit projects because it was understood, in spite of not being directly banned by any regulation, that it was not correct, due to the fact that they would have to evaluate their own project, for being the only coordinators in their areas.  This regulation was expressly included in the 2002 call, when it was stated that evaluation system coordinators could not submit projects.  Then, in year 2003, the number of coordinators increased to three people in each area so the abovementioned prohibition was deemed unnecessary, and it was not included in the following calls.  On the other hand, he explained that, regardless of the provision included in the 2002 call, he considers that researchers who submit projects as project leaders and that work as area coordinators, probably belong to the group of people who took office in 2003, so, upon submitting their projects, up to the end of 2002, the relevant prohibition was probably not in place.  He said that this would probably be true in all cases, suggesting confirmation thereof by the Agency’s authorities, and that in case some coordinators had taken office before 2003, project submission should not have been accepted, but it would definitely be an isolated case because most of the relevant coordinators were appointed in 2003.  He also mentioned that the country has a small scientific community so it is very difficult for members of entities such as the Agency and its different areas not to act as active researches as well. He stated that coordinators tend to be well-known persons so it is important to have them in the Agency but it is very difficult to prevent them from conducting their subsidized research projects while working for the Agency, and that was precisely one of the reasons why the number of members in each area was increased, in order to enable them to carry out their research projects while performing their offices in the Agency.  Finally, as to the provision included in the 2004 call, he said that area coordinators are no longer included so there would be no problem whatsoever with the submissions made by persons acting in said capacity, but the prohibition is only targeted at SECyT, ANPCyT’s authorities and members of the FONCyT, explaining that it refers to people who hold executive positions in said entities, as well as members of the FONCyT.

            Based on the witness’ deposition, the Chairman of the ANPCyT was requested to inform if Gustavo Politis, Roberto Salvarezza, Ricardo Astini, Beatriz Coria, Hermenegildo Ceccatto, Luis Beccaria, Marcelo Frías, Juan Santos and Roberto Lecuona, who turn to be the coordinators that, according to Saguier’s, would have received subsidies for projects submitted in the above mentioned 2002 call, have effectively acted as area coordinators of the Agency; and if so, to state the term each of them held said position.


 

                                                                                                                                  501

Judiciary of the Nation

 

            Thus, the mentioned entity answered the request on pages 453/454, sending a list of the terms during which the aforementioned persons worked as coordinators.  It was noticed that the only one who held said position in 2002 was Hermenegildo Ceccatto.  Likewise, the terms over which this person held the relevant position were informed on pages 455/473, and it was noticed that, by means of resolution No. 68/02, the Open Bidding Process for the Selection of a Fund Administrator No. 1/02 for the FONCyT coordinator system for years 2002 and 2003 was awarded to Ubatec S.A., and therefore, the Agency entered into a contract with the latter.  The contract stated that the company was responsible for managing the Coordinator system, having to execute service agreements with those persons appointed by the Agency, who are included in an exhibit attached to the resolution, including Mr. Ceccatto.

            After that, the ANPCyT was requested to inform if, based on the aforementioned resolution, Ubatec S.A. effectively hired Hermenegildo Ceccatto to act as coordinator, and to indicate the exact term he was appointed for.  Said requirement was answered on pages 484/495, attaching copy of the contracts executed between Ubatec S.A. and Mr. Ceccatto, whereby the latter was engaged to deliver services as coordinator for the terms between March 1st, 2002 and December 31st, 2002 and March 1st, 2003 and December 31st, 2003.

            II.- At this point, and after thoroughly reviewing this case, I understand that it cannot be stated, based on the proceedings filed up to now, that a crime has been committed; therefore it is applicable to close these proceedings by virtue of the arguments stated herein below.

            Firstly, note that, within the scope of this process, the undersigned is responsible only for analyzing the legal nature of the acts performed by the Administration, specifically, subsidy granting, for the purpose of determining if a crime has been committed in connection therewith.  Against this background, we should deeply analyze the regulation applicable to subsidy granting, in order to determine if allocation of said benefits to the different aforementioned officials, reported by Mr. Saguier, breaches any legal provision or not.

            Note that, the different measures filed herein could not prove, in any form whatsoever, the vicious distribution of subsidies mentioned by the reporter since it could not be proved if subsidy granting to the above mentioned people fails to comply with any provision or regulation whatsoever.  It has become clear that benefit allocation did not breach, under any circumstance, the mentioned legal principle, but, on the contrary, subsidies were granted observing the regulations in place and as per the conditions set forth therein.

            The AGPCyT [ANPCyT] timely informed the different regulations governing its activity –Decrees No. 1660/96 and 289/98- clarifying that, as to the procedures and incompatibilities to become a subsidy recipient, the institution performs public calls setting the guidelines and requirements to become a recipient in each call specifications.  This is supported by the provision included in Section 12, Decree 1660/96, whereby the Agency was created, that sets forth that the Fund for Scientific and Technological Research, one of the three areas that make up that entity, will set, in the call, the characteristics, terms and conditions the groups submitting projects should comply with.  Lic. Carlos Casanello, director of the FONCyT, stated that there is no generic rule, apart from those contained in the above mentioned public calls, setting incompatibilities to become a subsidy recipient.


 

                                                                                                                                 502

Judiciary of the Nation

 

            This way, the specifications of the different PICT (Scientific and Technology Research Projects) calls, from the creation of the entity until 2007, were reviewed and sent on page 307.  The specifications revealed that only the 2002 and 2004 calls included provisions whereby project submission by some official was not allowed. Specifically, the 2002 calls stated that SECyT and ANPCyT’s authorities, the evaluation system coordinators and member from the FONCyT could not submit projects, while the 2004 calls set forth that SECyT and ANPCyT’s authorities and members from the FONCyT could not submit projects.

            For clarification of the scope of said provisions, Lic Carlos Casanello was summoned to file a deposition, and he explained that, until 2002, each area had only one coordinator so, in general, they did not submit projects to receive subsidies, even though there was no specific rule to the contrary and that said prohibition was expressly included in the 2002 call, when it was set that the evaluation system coordinators and the authorities of the mentioned entities could not submit projects.  He added that in 2003, the number of coordinators was extended to three people per area, so the relevant prohibition was no longer considered, and it was not included in the following calls.  He stated that researchers who appear as project leaders in the 2002 call and that work as area coordinators probably belong to the group of people who took office in 2003, so, upon submitting their projects -up until the end of 2002- the relevant prohibition would not have probably been in place.

            So based on the proceeding attached to the file and the different case files timely sent by the Agency where it would appear that some of the coordinators, reported by Mr. Saguier, would have received subsidies from the Agency by virtue of projects submitted in the 2002 call, namely, Gustavo Politis, Roberto Salvarezza, Ricardo Astini, Beatriz Coria, Hermenegildo Ceccatto, Luis Beccaria, Marcelo Frías, Juan Santos and Roberto Lecuona, it was requested to inform if they had effectively performed as Agency coordinators, as well as their relevant term.

            Having timely answered said request on pages 453/473 and 484/495, it was clearly stated that the only person who acted as coordinator during 2002 was Mr. Hermenegildo Ceccatto, who was appointed for the period between March 1st and December 31st, 2002 and 2003. By virtue of file No. 11-11150, in the Secretariat’s records, relevant to a project submitted in the PICT call 2002 and that had Mr. Ceccatto as project leader, submitted on January 10th, 2003, it can be clearly seen that, at that moment, the prohibition included in the call was not in place, so there is no legal objection to the granting of the relevant subsidy.

            Against this background, I understand that it has been clearly stated that no objection whatsoever would be applicable in connection with Mr. Saguier’s claim as to the legal nature of subsidies granted to officials of different institutions since, in most cases, there was no regulation banning or restricting the granting of said benefits to the mentioned officials –who do not fall within the limitations set forth in the PICT 2002 and 2004 calls while, in Mr. Ceccatto’s case, who seems to be the only coordinator that may fall within the restriction of the 2002 call, for having held said position in that year, the prohibition is not applicable either because, upon submitting his project, his 2002 term as coordinator had finished, and his new term for 2003 had not yet begun.


 

                                                                                                                                 503

Judiciary of the Nation

 

            Based on the above, having clearly proved that the subsidies objected by the reporter were granted pursuant to law and did not fail to comply with any regulation whatsoever for there being no general provisions regulating an incompatibility regime and for not having violated those set for specific cases, it can be stated that no crime whatsoever has been committed and that no criminal objection can be filed by the undersigned.  This is because, notwithstanding the individual moral or ethics considerations about subsidy granting by those holding the positions mentioned by Saguier in his report -outside the scope hereof, the fact that subsidy granting to said officials is not subject to any prohibition or restriction excludes the possibility of the undersigned to request a value judgment because said decisions have not failed to comply with any legal provision, but rather they had been adopted pursuant to law, without breaching any regulation whatsoever.

            Note at this point that the conclusions reached agree on the opinion timely issued, according to Saguier, by the Science and Technical Ethics Committee of the Ministry of Science and Technology, stating that coordinators have not failed to comply with any provision upon receiving subsidies, as well as on the report timely issued by Prosecutor’s Office of Administrative Investigations, which set forth that there are no regulations formally governing the procedure to be followed in case of conflict of interests; hence there is no circumstance whatsoever that would imply a violation of any legal provision that may result in a disciplinary action.

            Likewise, the proceedings filed with the Anti-Corruption Office state that the latter reached similar conclusions to those stated herein, arguing that the reported facts would not be typically subsumed into the crime foreseen in article 265 of the Criminal Code; notwithstanding that they might be reviewed as a possible conflict of interests under the terms of Section 13 a, Law 25188 (Law of Public Office Ethics).  It was then stated that criminal law is the ultimate precautionary measure that should be sought.  It is first applicable to impose administrative sanctions or to improve the institutional mechanisms in place to restrict the unlawful discretional nature or lack of transparent criteria in the allocation of benefits that come from public funds.  Consequently it was resolved to forward the proceedings to the Transparency Policy Directorate of this Office, in order to evaluate the mechanisms and practices in place regarding subsidy allocation and, if applicable, to make the relevant recommendations.

            In turn, and notwithstanding the fact that, based on the aforementioned arguments, it has been proved that it is not possible to criminally accuse a person for the objected subsidy granting as no legal provision was breached, the statements made by Lic. Casanello should also be mentioned.  Lic. Casanello explained that the country has a small scientific community so it is very difficult for members of entities, such as the Agency and its different areas, not to act as active researches as well.  He further stated that coordinators tend to be well-known persons so it is almost impossible to prevent them from conducting their subsidized research projects while working for the Agency.  He said that the above was precisely one of the reasons why the number of members in each area was increased in 2003, in order to enable them to carry out their research projects while performing their offices in the Agency.

            Against this background, we should then review the remaining elements of the report filed by Mr. Saguier, who stated that the rejection of his reports in the periods 2002-2003 and 2004-2005 would have been part of the retaliation and discrimination against him, due to the political-scientific opinions made.  Note that, based on reviewing the files, no circumstance whatsoever supporting the report could be found, instead, it was noticed that, upon rejecting the relevant reports, the acting officials acted within their powers and under the effective legal provisions; hence there is no circumstance whatsoever to consider there has been some sort of irregularity.


 

                                                                                                                                 504

Judiciary of the Nation

 

            In contrast, the relevant proceedings are based on effective regulations.  By making such decision the involved officials did not breach any provision applicable in the subject matter.  Rather, they adopted a measure within their powers.  The reasons the decisions were based on were timely explained in the opinions issued by the advisory committees.  The undersigned has no powers to perform any deeper analysis in connection herewith for exceeding the scope of this court’s power.

            Moreover, note that the above is supported by the fact that the undersigned could not confirm any fact to suspect that the acts under review could have been related to the alleged irregular granting of subsidies reported herein so, as mentioned above, said situation has been ruled out. Along this line, the truthfulness of Mr. Saguier's sayings that his reports were rejected as part of retaliation for the ongoing disclosure of an alleged crime committed by the relevant officials cannot be confirmed as there is no proof of the effective commission of the relevant facts.

            Notice that no criminal action is applicable for the adoption of the aforementioned measures which appear to be duly supported pursuant to the applicable regulations, and no irregular fact whatsoever can be proved.  Likewise, there are no reasons to question the legal nature of said decisions.  The administrative appeals foreseen by the very same administrative procedure seem to be the means to state any disagreement or difference in interpretation of the reporter.

            Now therefore, based on the previous analysis and in the absence of confirmation of the commission of a crime and having completed these proceedings, I understand that the resolution set forth in Article 195 of the relevant code should be adopted.

            By virtue of the stated reasons and arguments:

I HEREBY RESOLVE:

TO FILE this case file No. 10152/09, entitled “Agencia Nacional para la Promoción Científica y otros s/Delito de Acción Pública [National Agency for Scientific and Technological Promotion on Public Action Crime],” pending before this Court Clerk’s Office No. 15., as there is no commission of any crime whatsoever, pursuant to Article 195 of the Argentine Code of Criminal Procedures.

Serve notice hereof to the Prosecutor by means of the Court Clerk’s Office, to the accuser by means of an official notice to be served within one day, avail of the relevant documentation through the Court Clerk’s Office and file.

 

Before me:                               Marcelo Martínez de Georgi

                                               Criminal Judge

The official notice was served on the same date. I attest.-

 

On the 19th day of this month I served notice to the Prosecutor.  I attest.

 

Patricio B. Evers

Federal Prosecutor

 

 

 

 

Appendix V

 

 

JUDICIARY OF THE NATION

 

Courtroom II – C.30.476: “National Agency for Scientific and Technological Promotion on dismissal”

Federal Court No. 8 – Clerk’s Office No. 15

File No. 10.152/2009

 

Record No. 33.609

/////////////////////////////////////////Buenos Aires, October 17th, 2011

 

SEEN: AND CONSIDERING:

 

I.- The Court has received the proceedings by virtue of an appeal filed by accuser Eduardo Saguier and his representing attorney –see pages 510/2- against the judgment on pages 497/505 overleaf- whereby it was ordered to dismiss the case due to absence of crime, under the terms of section 195 of the standard regulation.

The appellant alleges lack of investigation of reported facts and omission to produce evidence.  Said argument will not be upheld by the Court, since several proofs have been produced, many of which were conducive to refute the criminal hypothesis reported by the party, and as it was confusing and extremely comprehensive, upon request of the prosecutor –see item 2, page 33 overleaf- it had to be summed up by the accuser, in order to clarify, beyond the provisions of pages 5/6, the circumstances of time, means and place particularly regarding the reported irregular management of subsidies.

II.- An investigation is carried out about the alleged “influence peddling” and irregular distribution of subsidies by authorities of the National Agency for Scientific and Technological Promotion –ANPCYT, which would have taken place between years 2001 and 2005, continuously in favor of members of advisory committees, authorities of the CONICET, the CONEAU and universities.

The appellant reported that due to the fact that he publicly disclosed the abovementioned maneuvers, among others, he would have been subject to reprisals which materialized in the rejection of two periodic reports, relevant to the years 2002-2003 and 2004-2005, which acceptance was required to remain acting as researcher of the CONICET –see first stage requirement on pages 32/4.

Saguier filed complaints with different research agencies with regards to the management of subsidy granting.  In the Anti-Corruption Office he processed reference folder No. 8038; before the Prosecutor’s Office of Administrative Investigation, proceeding No. 23.612/1592/2006 was conducted and similar claims have been filed with the Office of Public Defense –see copies of pages 70/5 of the main file- and with the National General Auditing Office.

III.- The National Agency for Scientific and Technological Promotion (ANPCYT) is a national agency engaged in the promotion of activities related to science, technology and productive innovation. Through its three funds: “Fund for Scientific and Technological Research” –FONCYT-; “Argentine Technology Fund” – FONTAR- and “Trust Fund for Industrial Promotion of Software” –FONSOFT, it finances projects intended to improve social, economic and cultural conditions of our country.  Particularly, the FONCyT manages different instruments for promotion and funding aimed at subsidizing research projects of different characteristics, awarded through public tenders.  The single criterion for subsidy awarding is “recommendation,” through the analysis of the quality and relevance of projects, carried out in two consecutive stages.  In the first one, national and foreign peers evaluate the intrinsic quality of the project, while an ad hoc committee evaluates the relevance thereof in the other aspects, in accordance with the relevant specifications set in the call for bids.

The activities and jurisdiction of the ANPCyT are regulated by decrees 1660/96 and 289/98 and the awarding of subsidies is performed in accordance with the bidding specifications specially set for each call for bids.

Section 13, subsection e) of decree 1660/96 sets forth that the evaluation system “should set that … no evaluator may be part of the evaluation of those topics regarding which his presence entails a conflict of interest.”  Note that this is the only specification regarding the reported incompatibilities. On this regard, the Investigation Coordinator of the Anti-Corruption Office, José Ipohorski Lenkiewicz, who after comparing the information of the lists of researchers who received subsidies in the same tenders they acted as area coordinators or members of the Ad-hoc committee, on the aforementioned file No. 8032, ordered that “…the reported facts would not be typically subsumed into the crime foreseen in article 265 of the criminal code…”, therefore, from the analysis of the evaluation system, it appears that the “officials-researchers” are members of a professional organization and thus, their will in subsidy awarding to a specific project should be integrated with other officials’ will.  That is why, in principle, it would not be correct to say that they exercise a direct decision power on the awarding, specially when they would have engaged with the Public Administration in the same way any third party would do and in compliance with the same rules objectively required to do so.  So, anyway, “... it does not prevent them from being assessed in the light of a potential conflict of interest under the terms of section 13 a) of law 25.188.”  In case said conflict of administrative nature occurs, a specific sanction is foreseen, which, if applicable, implies the nullity of the act under review –section 17, law 25188-, but which is beyond the jurisdiction of the criminal law.

Likewise, from the analysis of records incidental to the main proceedings and regarding the bidding specifications relevant to Scientific and Technological Research Projects of periods 2000-2001; 2002; 2003; 2004; 2005; 2006 and 2007, only in two of them it is expressly stated who are prohibited from requesting subsidies.

The specifications of the call for bids for PICT 2002 seem to be stricter since they set forth that: “The authorities of the SECyT; the ANPCyT; the coordinators of the evaluation system and the members of the FONCyT may not submit bids,” whereas in PICT 2004 the prohibition to the “authorities of the SECyT, the ANPCyT and the members of the FONCyT” was removed.

Witness Carlos Casanello –pages 448/9, in charge of the management of the FONCyT, accounted for the reasons of said inclusion.  He states that said prohibition was expressly added to the aforementioned call for bids because until year 2002 there was only one coordinator per area, who eventually, would be responsible for analyzing his/her own project.  He adds that, starting in 2003 each area had three coordinators; therefore, it was not necessary to add said provision to the subsequent calls for bids.

On this regard, the statements of María de los Angeles Apólito –Secretary of the Medical Sciences Area of the SEPCyT-FONCyT 2004/9- are clarifying.  She stated that in practice there are two ways of avoiding conflicts of interests.  Either does the coordinator involved in the project leave the accreditation meeting when such project is going to be analyzed, and the other two coordinators remain in charge of the selection of peers who will evaluate it or, if applicable, the project is sent to another similar area for evaluation –see pages 101/2 overleaf of the photocopies of file FIA No. 23612/1592-.

As an example we have the case of Marcelo Frías, Researcher in charge of Project No. 11-11071, submitted on 12/20/02, who after the call for bids was appointed Coordinator of the IT, Communications and Electronics Area –see Res. No. 066 dated 5/5/03 and exhibit I, pages 25/7, file No. 097/02.  In this case, where there might have been “...a clear conflict of interests, Carlos Casanello agreed to be in charge of the evaluation process for this project.” (see page 5 blue record Pict 2002 Project No. 11-11071, quoted).

Likewise, we can mention the events occurred regarding project No. 08-10849, submitted to PICT 2002 on 1/6/03 by lead researcher, Dr. Luis Mroginski. On 4/8/03, he was appointed Coordinator of the “Agricultural, Cattle, Forest and Fishing Technology” Area, -see Res. No. 043 and exhibit I on pages 22/4, file 097/02, quoted- that is to say, after the submission of such project, and his appointment was on an honorary basis.

Likewise, let us mention project No. 11-11150 submitted by Hermenegildo Alejandro Ceccato for the “IT, Communications and Electronics” area.  Note that in this case, although the professional was appointed by the Board of Directors of the ANPCyT, by virtue of Res. No. 043 dated 4/8/2003, Coordinator for the period 2003, he held the position in an area –the area of “Physical Sciences and Mathematics”- different from the one where the project sponsored by him as lead researcher had to be evaluated.  Based on the above, the report issued by the Ad-hoc Committee stated that the members thereof did not have any conflict of interest whatsoever –see page 15, light blue folder Project No 11-11150.

Note that the evaluation positions should be held by “well-known and active researchers” and that in our country, the scientific community is extremely reduced –see testimony of Pedro Manfredo Alexander on page 401/overleaf of the main file.  This situation contributes to set a framework conducive to the aforementioned conflicts, and the need for making palliative efforts, such as those referred to above, to reduce biases and ensure unbiased stances over the project.

In short, the circumstances stated above show that the individuals mentioned by the accuser throughout the record and pertaining to different scientific and university levels of the country would not have failed to comply with the limited provisions applicable to this matter; in contrast, they would have acted within the framework of powers granted by the applicable legislation, situation which the appellant could not change.

IV.- Now, we should address the existence of reprisals the accuser alleges to have suffered as a consequence of the charges brought.  He states that due to the accusations, two reports he statutorily had to submit to the CONICET were consecutively rejected and qualified as “NON ACCEPTABLE.”

In said agency, two cases were filed. File No. 3987/04 relevant to the work done by the researcher during the period 2002/2003 and No. 2209/06 regarding his role as independent researcher during the years 2004/2005.

In the first case, the negative decision was adopted by the Board of Directors by virtue of Resolution No. 1672 dated 9/24/04, after the evaluation of the activities carried out by the researcher performed by an Advisory Committee which advised to make such decision –see pages 24/5. Saguier was duly notified –pages 30/1- and was able to make use of the relevant procedural tools.  This way, the nullity set forth on pages 66/84 was ruled out on pages 151/2.  The same happened with the appeal requesting reversal appearing on pages 42/57, not to forget that before the adverse resolution –Res. No. 2197 dated 12/16/05- he attended to the hearing held -see pages 164 and 165/6- where his argument of unconstitutionality of decree No. 1661/96 was answered.

In file No. 2209/06, opened to evaluate his performance during the period 2004-2005, it may be noted that Saguier made use of several resources before and after the issuance of Res. No. 2255 dated 9/26/08 –see pages 112/3- so it was also adversely qualified.

Note that in this case, none of the experts who were part of the advisory committee were members when his prior report was evaluated, except for the case of Ana Inés Ferreira, who left the meeting during the analysis thereof –see certificate on pages 108/10.

In short, the records analyzed do not show the existence of reprisals or partial measures adopted against the accuser as a result of the opinions publicly disclosed.  In contrast, the proceedings briefly described above show that the resolutions unfavorable for the reporter were adopted in accordance with the legislation applicable thereto and within the scope for action of the individuals responsible for the issuance thereof, who stated sufficient supporting reasons and grounds.  It should be reminded that, at that time, the appellant made use of all the tools he had.

V.- Finally, it should be noted that the detailed analysis of the events performed by the lower court's judge confronting many documents incidental hereto, and upheld by this Court, requires similar efforts by the accuser, to prove not only the error alleged but also the insight of the interpretation proposed.  Therefore, on this regard, the list of new criminal hypothesis and the invocation of the request to summon forty one individuals on the belief that “their testimony is essential to determine their responsibilities” is insufficient–see record on pages 533/540 of the main file.

Now therefore, we hereby uphold the resolution challenged in all the decisions contained therein subject to the appeal.

Consequently, IT IS RESOLVED: To UPHOLD the interlocutory judgment appearing on pages 497/504 overleaf, regarding the order to dismiss this case by virtue of the provisions of section 195 of the standard regulation.

Be these presents recorded, informed to the General Prosecutor and delivered to the Lower Court where all other relevant notices should be served.

 

Signed by: Horacio Rolando Cattani-Martín Irurzun-Eduardo G. Farah.-

Before me: Pablo J. Herbón. Court of Appeals' Secretary

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix VI

 

 

Eduardo R. Saguier

 

A BRIEF STORY OF DEPRIVATION OF JUSTICE IN ARGENTINA

 

On June 8, 2009, I filed a report with the ordinary criminal courts for the vicious distribution of Pesos 650 million (totaling US Dollars 1.24 billion from an IDB loan) in subsidies between the years 1997 and 2007, and within the same report I requested a broad investigation to be carried out on the authorities of CONICET, CONEAU, the Science and Technology Secretariats of National Universities, and the Ethics Committee of the National Ministry of Science and Technology, for considering they might be involved, as direct and eventual participants, in the distribution of said subsidies.  The proceeding is numbered 10.152/09, and it has been processed under the file Agencia Nacional para la Promoción Científica y otros s/Delito de Acción Pública [National Agency for Scientific and Technological Promotion on Public Action Crime] in the court of Marcelo Martínez de Georgi, who after a restricted and loose proceeding, on April 14, 2011 ordered to close the case arguing the absence of a crime.

 

Totally unsatisfied with such decision, I appealed to the higher courts (the court of appeals’ judges are Irurzun, Cattani and Farah) and this court, with less legal grounds than the lower court’s judge (Martínez de Georgi), upheld his decision, declaring that I have not brought sufficient elements to the case in order to prove a crime and the facts related thereto, for which I was requesting the investigation and prosecution.

 

This unbelievable decision, affecting a responsible citizen who reports to the judicial branch regarding facts that this branch must unavoidable investigate, may only be defined as act of deprivation of justice.

 

In order to avoid technicalities, I will try to sum up my report with the simplest terms so that everybody can understand well what this is about.

 

I have specifically brought charges against a particular group of people, individually identified, who hold executive positions within the bureaucratic apparatus of public administration within the science and technology field (50 Coordinators of the Agency or ANPCYT, 60 members of the Board of Directors and of the Advisory Committees of the CONICET and the CONEAU, and a dozen of Science and Technology Secretaries from National Universities), and who have become both judges and parties to the allocation of subsidies for science and technology research.

 

These accused officials, specially the Coordinators of the Agency, obtained public funds (at an average of one hundred thousand dollars each) requesting subsidies then evaluated and granted by themselves, violating the basic principle of public law, pursuant to which nobody can be, at the same time, judge and party and nobody can be the judge in his own case.  It is the most basic rule in the due legal process.  Since the allocation of subsidies to research in Argentina is part of public tenders, and since public funds are at stake in the awarding process –as in any public tender- they are subject to the national law of administrative procedures No. 19,549 and to the set of supplementary regulations imposing the strictest objectivity, as well as in any other bidding processes where the bidding party may never be the bidding judge.  The issue is as simple as that. If the bidding party awards itself the current bidding process, like the party charged with a crime becoming the judge of its own case; and if after that, to top it off, it discharges itself, everybody has the right to suspect that it has exonerated itself in order to cover itself from that crime it was accused of.

 

Now, we can therefore wonder what the judicial branch did in this case.  Strangely enough, that question has already been answered above: the judicial authorities who have been involved in the case (court of appeals' judges Irurzun, Cattani and Farah, and judge Martínez de Georgi) have not shown their concern to carry out a full investigation of the accused people or officials and of the facts related to them.

 

Instead, said authorities have only declared that the reporter has not provided sufficient evidence.  But, was the reporter the person in charge of clarifying the facts? The law states otherwise.  The law sets forth that criminal investigation should be exclusively carried out by the judicial authorities.

 

That is why it is very serious that neither the Judge nor the Court of Appeals has ordered the production of the evidence I have offered, conducive to prove such failure of the involved officials to comply with their obligations, the misappropriation of public money, fraudulent administration, and conflict of interests.  And it is even more serious that the production of the evidence suggested has not been ordered; therefore the investigation is completely unsatisfactory due to omission of the evidence offered.

 

The production of evidence would have proved the reported facts, which construed as a whole, would have led to the conclusion that we were facing criminal acts.  If the offered testimonies, or testimonies of people involved and accused had been produced, such as the declaration of Dr. Enrico Stefani, former CONICET chairman, regarding his statements about influence peddling, as well as the accounting expert’s testimony with regards to settlement of accounts of subsidies received by civil servants, and if their records had been added, the judicial considerations would have been different. 

 

The few precedents regarding this case were the evidence that called for a profound investigation of the rules applied in calls for bids.  Of course the rules invoked were not the only ones.  There are other rules, such as the Law of Administrative Procedures and the Criminal Code.  There is also the Budget Law which requires rendering accounts of expenditures made for the justified allocation of expenses and that justification is missing when the individual granting said subsidy is the recipient thereof.  This is a vicious circle where a trick or fraud is evident by the evaluator (or Coordinator) awarding the subsidy to himself, action defined in the Criminal Code as fraud, plus the violation of the duties of civil servants, since the party involved is a civil servant.  In turn, we cannot say that there are no rules that penalize the case because they were not found.  Rules do exist, and the judicial authorities should have related them and applied them to the facts.  The following should have been done, although it was not: exhaust the relevant evidence and confront it with the rules before deciding on the absence of a crime and dismiss the case.

 

Strangely enough, the comptroller’s receipts for the rendering of accounts of the accused officials subsidized by the ANPCYT were not requested to the Science and Technology Secretariats of the universities and the Board of Directors of CONICET and CONEAU.

 

In one of the whereas clauses, it is stated that no legal regulation has been violated, based on the considerations of the Ethics Board, as well as the Anti-Corruption Office, the Office of Public Defense and the Prosecutor’s Office of Administrative Investigation.  This way, the Judge and the Court of Appeals have abdicated the jurisdiction and venue, since they are exclusively in charge of the prosecution of crimes and criminal behaviors which are not within the framework of the lawfulness content or the eventual opinion of administrative authorities, perhaps interested in legalizing the activity of its own bureaucratic framework.  Notwithstanding the above, note that the scope, subject-matter, purpose and duties of the administrative agencies referred to by the lower court’s Judge and the courts of appeals’ Judges are very different from the ones responsible for the prosecution of crimes and law enforcement, and especially the so called “Ethics Committee and restrictive provisions” are apocryphal entities, a simulation of lawfulness made up of subsidized officials of the ANPCYT itself, since the former is not the National Committee of Public Ethics of law 25188 and both of them are an administrative and ministerial creation aimed at hiding situations that may constitute a crime for cover-up.  For this purpose and by virtue of the terms of the reported crimes, specially the incompatibility violation, there have been obstacles directly involving deprivation of justice, seeking to release the participants from any responsibility whatsoever with the simple resolution of the board of directors of ANPCYT or the Minister.

 

Within the scope of the Ministry of Science and Technology there is a system which delivers lawfulness, which leads to observe a false lawfulness, since the facts described by the reporter are set forth in the Criminal Code.  It should be reminded in this regard that the Prosecutor’s Office of Administrative Investigation stated that there are no clear mechanisms to reconstruct the way the ANPCYT approves the financing of certain project, and that there is no certainty over the percentage of cases where coordinators or joint coordinators submit projects to be evaluated, adding that law 25200 is not applied by the officials.

 

It becomes clear that there are corruption mechanisms involving avoidance and degradation of rules and controls, spurious administration of funds, both in the way of allocating subsidies through influence peddling and the rendering of accounts where the same subsidized officials (this is the case of the Science and Technology Secretaries of universities and schools) supervise other subsidized parties and themselves.  This is so evident as the timely reported persecution by the involved parties of the undersigned that, following such event and as reprisal, rudely rejected the biennial reports I submitted, constituting flagrant breach of the right of defense at trial. 

 

Within such framework of deprivation of justice, it is also unbelievable how the court of appeals’ judges, Irurzun, Cattani and Farah, upheld and supported the testimony of an ANPCYT's official and failed to recognize witness Alexander who detailed the tampering of his case and the hiding of the evaluators’ identities, and added that law 23200 is not observed. 

 

Despite the incompatibility and irregularity detected in the case of Evaluator Ceccatto, the investigation on this regard was interrupted.  The same applies to more significant evidence, such as the report of the Prosecutor’s Office of Administrative Investigation which proved, among other various irregularities, a high percentage of alleged incompatibilities, and the investigation on this regard was omitted and the supported case was dismissed, leading to deprivation of justice.

 

I could add many other elements that build my particular case which is still in the contentious field in another lawsuit.  But I do not believe it is necessary to individualize, although it is evident that I have been subject to reprisal due to my reports.  On the contrary, I just want to highlight the act of deprivation of justice, which is a very serious desertion of the state before corrupt officials, who are not intended to be investigated.  Said circumstance is the one clouding our future citizen, as well as harming our scientific community and, as Hobbes would say, it takes us to the kingdom of darkness. 

 

I have tried to fulfill my duty as citizen but, apparently, the judicial authorities (the court of appeals’ judges Irurzun, Cattani and Farah), which are the core of our republican system, have turned a blind eye.  As we should, somehow, make efforts in order for the Justice to pay attention, I offer this testimony in this sense and along this line.  Ultimately, it is all about preserving the citizen awareness and nurturing the scientific community in order to avoid the tampering by those occasionally holding positions in the apparatus of power of the science and culture.  And it is not certainly about convincing them about their duties but about convincing ourselves that our rights are at stake.

 

      Eduardo R. Saguier

   CONICET Researcher

WWW.ER-SAGUIER.ORG

 

 

 

 

Appendix VII

 

Academic Opinion on the Education Law (La Nación, 5/30/1980)

“We believe that history taught in public and private schools should be based on truth and justice and adhere to the great guidelines of our Nation.  Throughout its history, our nation has strived for freedom for itself and for its neighboring countries, has defended its territory and has sought to ensure the benefits of freedom within the framework of the western world, we belong to based on our roots and evolution,” says the National Academy of History, in a statement disclosed in connection with the general Education bill and issued at a request of the Ministry of Culture and Education. It was drafted by academics Edmundo Correas, José M. Mariluz Urquijo, Carlos S. A Segreti and Andrés R. Allende, and approved, in a private meeting, by the Corporation.

In general terms, it is noted that said Law “should be an instrument of utmost importance for the country’s present and future.”  Likewise, “it should be drafted based on our present human and social situation but with the vision of a desirable and possible State and Nation.”

National Continuity

Then, it is also stated that “present and future should be clearly related to the past, as the authenticity of Argentine people and the society they belong to come from there.  Moreover it displays the characteristics of a unique and exclusive nationality with national lifestyle, ideas, feelings, character and awareness that will be further reinforced and debugged from any notorious deficiency.”

Based on said objectives “education, in all its cycles, should intend to provide each subject the capacity to “know how to be” in three aspects that make up the subject’s personality as a member of an organized community: a) “Know how to be human” by means of the best and most complete development of his/her personality, always perfectible; b) “know how to be social,” i.e., proper participation and coexistence in society, accepting the order in place, supported in the legal order, which does not exclude social mobility and any necessary changes by peaceful means; and c) “know how to be a citizen,” a member of the political world, as per the State’s constitutional system.”

Education Mission

The academic opinion also indicates that “the general law of education should resign to the ideological and spiritual neutrality. Its education mission is intended for a certain type of human being – the Argentines, a certain idea of life and the world, a definite nationality inserted in the Christian western civilization and, regarding citizenship, it should strictly address the education of those in power and constituents of our republican, representative and federal country, in accordance with our National Constitution, which is “the Nation made law.”

This education “should prioritize spiritual values building defenses against dehumanizing factors derived from scientific-technical progress that, apart from its undeniable civilizing contributions, tends to impose materialism where things rather than helping men turn them into slaves.”
In turn, the law must “ensure a systematized educational system, as a means to know and create culture,” which are supplementary aids to the “information on current domestic and international facts” in the syllabuses.  Finally, on the issue of teaching history, it is stated that “it is not acceptable to use the course to teach or disclose whimsical versions that deform our past, putting history to the service of political doctrines contrary to our national essence.”

Source: La Nación, 5-30-1980

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Appendix VIII

 

List of Social Scientists subsidized by the National Agency or ANPCYT (2002-2009)

 

Last Name  Name Year Amount in pesos

Aboy Carlés, Gerardo 2003 370,049

Albornoz, Mario 2003 199,833

Altamirano, Carlos 2006 135,576

Barrancos, Dora 2004 208,000

Barsky, Osvaldo 2002 104,062

Bellelli, Cristina 2004 203,000

Bortagaray, Juan Manuel 2002 210,000

Braun, Miguel 2005 157,000

Burucúa, Gastón 2004 205,281

Caimari, Lilia 2005 153,625

Calvo, Adriana 2005 276,000

Cavarozzi, Marcelo 2004 204,000

Chiaramonte, José Carlos 2004 150,508

Cullen Soriano, Carlos 2006 207,000

Da Orden, María 2006 160,337

Di Stefano, Roberto 2005 207,000

Ferreyra, Ana Inés 2004 130,000

Gallo, Klaus 2004 134,000

Gelman, Jorge 2006 210,000

Gerchunoff, Pablo 2007 150,000

Girbal, Noemí 2002 210,000

Grimson, Alejandro 2006 202,151

Guariglia, Osvaldo 2006 174,667

Gutiérrez, Ramón 2003 195,834

Hora, Roy 2005 160,000

Idoyaga Molina, Anatilde 2006 210,000

Jelin, Elizabeth 2006 209,688

Kreimer, Pablo 2003 195,250

Lorandi, Ana María 2005 157,000

Mallimacci, Fortunato 2004 362,186

Miotti, Laura 2006 210,000

Moreyra, Beatriz Inés 2004 209,738

Moure, Jose Luis 2006 180,000

Naishtat, Francisco 2004 167,000

Neffa, Julio 2002 160,000

Novaro, Marcos. 2005 326,000

Oszlak, Oscar 2005 94,000

Palacio, Juan Manuel 2005 124,000

Palermo, Vicente 2007 113,000

Palomeque, Silvia 2005 135,128

Plotkin, Mariano Ben 2006 208,000

Podgorny, Irina 2006 162,000

Puiggrós, Adriana 2005 204,000

Rapoport, Mario 2007 257,900

Riquelme, Graciela 2007 158,000

Rocchi, Fernando 2005 175,000

Rofman, Alejandro 2004 135,000

Romero, Luis Alberto 2006 195,000

Rubinich, Lucas 2007 158,000

Salvatore, Ricardo 2002 160,000

Santa Cruz, María Isabel 2006 182,292

Svampa, Maristella 2004 210,000

Tarragó, Myriam 2005 210,000

Teubal, Miguel 2002 185,000

Torrado, Susana 2004 120,000

Trinchero, Héctor 2003 170,000

Visacovsky, Sergio 2006 143,488

Source: List published on the website of the Agencia Nacional para la Promoción Científico-Tecnológica or ANPCYT, at the present time mysteriously disabled.

 




 
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