A report from the Treasury ruined the claim of the Government of Pedro Sánchez to create a new foundation, paid for by the state coffers, within the framework of the Democratic Memory law. The General Technical Secretariat of this Ministry warned at the beginning of this year of an increase in public spending that was not foreseen in the Regulatory Impact Analysis Report (MAIN) of the preliminary draft of the norm, among them those derived from this body, in principle responsible for the “maintenance and dissemination of the archives of the presidencies of democratically elected governments.” After receiving the letter, Presidency, Relationship with the Courts and Democratic Memory – still directed by Carmen Calvo– He gave up his purpose and removed it from the text.
The report, dated last January, just three months after the Council of Ministers approved the draft, exposed several reluctance. Although he did not estimate the amount, there was a foreseeable increase in the initial cost in relation to the Office of the Prosecutor of the Democratic Memory and Human Rights Chamber, the Public Sector Foundation and the repeal of the additional thirty-third and thirty-sixth provisions of the Law 17/2012, of December 27, on General State Budgets for 2013, which established that the deadline for applications for compensation for time in prison and in favor of social workers ended that year.
The letter, mandatory for the processing of the preliminary draft, showed that the need to create the new foundation was not properly argued. “The report does not provide any justification for the need and opportunity to create a new body of the state public sector (…) In this regard, it is recalled that the creation of new bodies has an impact on personnel costs and that It must be proven that their functions cannot be assumed with the current administrative structures, “he concluded.
Regarding the other two extremes, the Treasury also made clear its doubts. “The MAIN states that the creation of the Prosecutor’s Office would not entail an increase in the workforce by proceeding to amortization of currently existing positions,” the letter introduced, and later asserted: “In this regard, this Ministry, in view of the case analyzed, lacks of documentation that allows assessing this circumstance, so it would be considered, in principle, that the new Prosecutor’s Office will entail an increase in costs derived from the appointment of its holder “.
Although the MAIN referred to possible claims for compensation as a matter of “reparative and eminently symbolic nature for the affected groups” with “a practically negligible economic impact”, the report warned: “Such repeal would entail the restoration of certain compensation for prison time and in favor of social workers, as well as the full validity of the pensions in favor of orphans over twenty-one years of age not disabled under the legislation in force on December 31, 1984, or the special war legislation “. And he concludes: “In this regard, it should be noted that, for both cases, it should be assessed which department could be competent for the recognition of compensation.”
Sources from the Ministry of the Presidency confirmed to ABC that the forecast of creating the foundation was withdrawn, but that the other elements do not represent an increase over the new prosecutor, because according to reports from the State Attorney General’s Office it would be balanced by retirements. Regarding compensation, because it has already been specified that the competent department would be the Ministry of Inclusion and Social Security, with the insistence that they will be of a “residual nature”. “What is relevant is that the Treasury indicates that we have budget credit to carry out the law”, they explain in the portfolio that Félix Bolaños now directs.
The Undersecretary of Finance recognized that the MAIN that accompanied the draft included explanations on the budgetary allocations that are supposed to be necessary for the optimal development of the regulation. Thus, in the Presidential Budget proposal, 600,000 euros for the census of victims of the war and the Franco regime; up to 500,000 euros for the victims’ DNA bank; 50,000 for an inventory of places of democratic memory and another 100,000 euros for the operation of the General Council for Democratic Memory and the preparation of its reports. However, the final budget for Memoria Democrática in 2021 amounts to 11.356.530 euros.
The Democratic Memory law, ready for debate in the Cortes, has been subject to numerous corrections by various ministries. As reported by this newspaper, the Presidency detected more than a hundred errors and legal inaccuracies that affected both the form and the substance of the rule, a star project of the Sánchez Government.