Tuta faces criticism

Monchique Câmara President, Carlos Tuta, has received yet more criticism for his alleged misconduct and impropriety, this time from the Inspector General of Administration of the Territories (IGAT).

The damning report accuses the câmara of violating lands lying in the National Ecological Reserve, bending the rules of the PDM (the câmara’s building regulations) and failing to safeguard proper guidelines in the awarding of building contracts. The report comes after a lengthy probe into Monchique Câmara and now recommends a further investigation by the Public Ministry.

Inspectors detected many inconsistencies in planning permission requests. Among the most prominent cases cited in the report, is the illegal construction of an unlicensed swimming pool on land belonging to the partner of a technician employed by the câmara.

The report also criticises the way Monchique Câmara interprets exceptions to the PDM, which outlines precise regulations about new building works. Other allegations of impropriety revolve around transport in the area and the supply of materials to the câmara.

Tuta has said that he had nothing to fear from the IGAT report and the local authority has stated it will provide a full explanation of its actions, describing the majority of situations cited in the report as merely a question of “different interpretations of the law”. But José Armando Lopes, councillor from the opposition PSD, is not surprised with the report’s findings: “It confirms all our suspicions about the actions of the President of the câmara. Faced with the seriousness of the report’s conclusions, we are awaiting further measures,” he said.