Agustín Caso Raphael, the auditor who calculated the cost of cancellation of Texcoco airport at 331 billion pesos, is three times higher than projected by the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, defended his estimate and ensured that the difference in figures lies in the type of methodology used.
Although Caso Raphael was separated from office on March 1, he appeared before the Higher Audit Surveillance Committee of the Federation of the Chamber of Deputies on Tuesday, where he explained the methodology applied in the audit to the Airport Group of Mexico City, in charge of the project in Texcoco, and in which, he said, «there was no dollar or political motivation».
This is because after publishing the audit on February 27, two days later President Andrés Manuel López disqualified the figure and ensured that the Audit had been wrong. Hours later, the Audit issued a card where it recognized «inconsistencies» in its calculation so it would do another review. Therefore, the Deputies called for the appearance of the Federal Auditor, David Hives, and the rest of the team involved.
However, Case Raphael, assured that the recommendations embodied in the cancellation audit do not have a punitive mood, but try to pay for better quality in spending management and «that in no way entails an attack on the presidential inauguration or a government.»
Caso Raphael, former special audit performance assistant, was in charge of auditing The New International Airport of Mexico City (NAIM), which began construction in 2014 in the administration of Enrique Peña Nieto, but was canceled in 2018, when the government of López Obrador began.
The cost of such cancellation, said former Secretary of Communications and Transport, Javier Jiménez Espriú, would amount to 100 billion pesos. However, the Audit revealed that it would rather be 331 billion pesos.
To calculate this figure, Case explained, «the Audit used an economic methodology, which observes economic costs and not just accounting costs», therefore, «there is no disjunction between a good figure and a bad figure, what exist are methodologies that generate results according to their nature,» he said at the arraignment.
Your estimate is an estimated cost that includes expenses eerogated from 2014 to 2019, such as outstanding costs and lawsuits. Future cost data, which are estimates because they have not been paid and some of the financial instruments have not yet been cancelled, in addition to the financial burden of repurchase bonds will materialize in the future.
The economic cost methodology considers explicit costs, opportunity costs and sunken costs based on the financial data provided by the Airport Group, amounting to 163 billion pesos earious between 2014 and 2019 and 168 billion pesos of additional costs.
In addition, bonds were placed to fund the project, but these «are not freely available because they are not budgetary in nature but were resources captured and legally linked to a specific purpose, which was the construction of a particular project with defined conditions and guarantees».
Therefore, «cancelling financial instruments results in a disinversion that was originally established by leveraging the company’s borrowing capacity, but at the time of the company’s concreteness it was unable to use the resources invested by the legal and economic characteristics with which they were established, which sets up an opportunity cost situation and is currently covered by budgetary resources» Case said.
In this case, for example, the difference is clearly observed. While the audit team considers that there is a cost of opportunity since the company no longer has those resources to develop an alternate project, since they cannot be reallocated, the estimate is 34 thousand mdp but if this economic criterion is not used but an accounting one, then the amount fluctuates by 4 thousand mdp.
While repurchase of bonds issued, the estimated valuation is 50 billion pesos, including all types of costs; but if you proceed from the accounting approach, then the figure could be 15 thousand mdp.
Therefore, one cannot speak of a single figure so far, for «we are not faced with a fully paid and closed fact; it is a dynamic process that has a set of legal, financial and economic scenarios that can be realized in 26 years.»
In addition, the audited entity had all the prerogatives to submit information, «he was given the procedural times, he was given the resultsgave you a chance to confront you. There are no discrepancies, a methodology is followed and there is the right of reply to solve issues, within the framework of a process that allows to reach a good port with figures and quantities».
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