Tax authorities investigate staff suspected of accessing Passos Coelho’s personal details

Tax authorities investigate staff suspected of accessing Passos Coelho’s personal details

Hot on the heels of the potentially-embarrassing Tecnoforma ‘scandal’ – which suggested prime minister Passos Coelho had fiddled his tax returns in the 90s – Público has revealed that AT tax bosses are investigating workers who may have had unauthorised access to the prime minister’s personal details.
Without once mentioning the Tecnoforma episode – brushed under the carpet on the technicality that if Passos Coelho had fiddled his returns, it was legally too far down the line to censure him – Público writes that a number of workers are now under suspicion of having accessed confidential information, to which even they were not privy, relating to Passos Coelho’s tax situation.
The unspecified number of employees are being supported by the STI workers syndicate, which confirmed that it will be meeting with a “high ranking” member of AT to deal with this and other matters on Wednesday (December 17).
As Público explains, workers are allowed access to certain fiscal details – “name, address, declaration of income/ property etc” – but others remain “restricted” and workers can only gain access on the authorisation of AT (Autoridade Tributária).
What is not known at this point is “whether the workers accessed restricted information or whether they looked at details to which they were technically allowed to see but for which there was “no apparent justification”.
All that is clear is that AT has a system that can track all workers’ searches, and it is legally-bound to protect confidential data.
Passos Coelho’s past came under intense scrutiny in September this year when Sábado magazine leaked the story that he was under investigation for not having declared €5,000 a month income from Tecnoforma between 1995-98. At the time, the prime minister was president of an NGO, created by Tecnoforma, designed to win project funding from the EC.
Also under investigation was the possibility that Tecnoforma was “favoured” during the PSD-government of Durão Barroso. But the statute-of-limitations on taxes meant that the investigation was archived almost as soon as the anonymous tip-off had been made public.