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Instruction Manual Against Extortion in Public Contracts in Ecuador

Ab. Daniela Bedoya M. and María Mercedes Idrovo Calderón

Leaders of the Public Contracting Department

 

Dear friends and clients:

The new Instruction Manual for Actions in Cases of Extortion during Contract Execution, issued by the Director General of the National Public Contracting Service (SERCOP), through Resolution No. RE-SERCOP-2024-0141 on May 10, 2024, aims primarily to regulate the reporting of extortion during the execution of public contracts. We briefly inform you of the key points:


Definition and Obligation to Report

Extortion is defined as any act of violence or intimidation to obtain undue benefits from a contractor. The Instruction Manual requires contractors and witnesses to immediately report any act of extortion to SERCOP.


Guarantees for Whistleblowers

SERCOP must ensure the confidentiality of whistleblowers and provide secure channels for reporting. Additionally, measures will be implemented to protect whistleblowers from retaliation.


Reporting Procedure

The report must include details about the situation, involved parties, circumstances, location, date, time, and procedure code.


Public Contracts Extortion Instruction Manual

The reporting process is divided into three phases:

Public Contracting Regulations
  1. Preliminary Evaluation: Verification that the contract is in execution.

  2. Report: The Technical Control Coordination presents a report to the Director of SERCOP.

  3. Referral to Authorities: If applicable, the report is sent to the Prosecutor's Office and the National Police.


Monitoring and Cooperation

SERCOP will continuously monitor reported contracts, especially during the payment process. Any irregularity will be immediately reported to the competent authorities. Both SERCOP staff and contracting entities must fully cooperate in the investigations.


Importance of the Instruction Manual

The 2023 accountability report from SERCOP highlights that public contracting represents 22.1% of the General State Budget (PGE) and 5.8% of the GDP, amounting to $6.951.9 million. The issuance of this manual is a significant step in the fight against corruption, bringing visibility to the issue of extortion and establishing preventive measures.


Reporting Channels

The manual details the channels and procedures for contractors and citizens to report extortion practices. SERCOP is obliged to investigate these reports and, if indications of a crime are found, refer them to the Attorney General's Office.

Public Contracting Regulations

Do you need legal advice to protect your rights in cases of extortion in public contracts? At Meythaler & Zambrano Abogados, we are experts in these matters and are ready to help you. Contact us today for a consultation and ensure the protection of your rights.



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Legal disclaimer

The content of this blog is provided for informational and educational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Regulations in Ecuador are subject to changes and updates that may affect the applicability and accuracy of the content published here. We do not guarantee that the information presented is accurate, complete or current at the time of reading. Therefore, past postings should not be construed as necessarily reflecting current regulations. We strongly recommend that you consult with our qualified attorneys for specific and personalized advice.

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