Black hole identified in Civil Protection’s firefighting expenditure

Portugal’s Accounts Court has delivered a blistering report identifying a €67.9 million ‘black hole’ in firefighting expenditure by Civil Protection authority ANPC.

Says the court, the last three years have seen a “lack of control” in money delivered to fire stations and inconsistencies which persist despite previous recommendations on how to tighten procedures up.

It has recommended action and fast, calling on the government to ensure this finally happens.

The report did not touch on firefighting air support, or “questions relating to the functionality of the SIRESP” emergency services network.

But when it did find what national tabloid Correio da Manhã refers to as “lack of transparency in money paid out to firefighting corporations”, it tried to verify data through IRN, the Institute of Registry and Notary Affairs.

This was where things got even more complicated, says the paper. “For the ANPC there are 412 firefighting corporations that receive subsidies. But for the IRN there are 437…”

These inconsistencies “reveal failures in legal articulation” between the two entities, or, more to the point: “the information is insufficient for the understanding of operations effected”.