Sanctions modified for misuse of State vehicles
Decree establishes new sanctions that go up to $500 for those who violate the provisions and recidivism can lead to dismissal.
The Official Gazette of Panama already contains Executive Decree No. 167 of July 22, 2021, which modifies Article 8 of Decree No. 124 of November 27, 1996, which regulates Cabinet Decree No. 46 of February 24 of 1972, which regulates the movement of state-owned vehicles.
In the modification of the eighth article it will now be like this:
1. The public servant who drives the vehicle will be sanctioned with a fine of two hundred balboas ($200).
2. The immediate head of the public servant who drives the vehicle and who uses it, authorizes or consents to its use outside working hours or for use other than the public service for which it is intended, will be sanctioned with a fine of three hundred balboas ($300).
3. The head of transportation or the Administrative Director or the institutional authority that uses, authorizes or consents to the use of a state-owned vehicle, outside of working hours or for use other than the public service for which it is intended, will be sanctioned with a fine of five hundred balboas ($500).
The amendment also establishes that when the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic becomes aware of any fact that constitutes any of the infractions described in this article, it will inform the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
In this case, it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) to impose the corresponding fine, which admits an appeal for reconsideration.
The decree adds that "once firm, the fines imposed must be paid within a period of fifteen business days, at the General Directorate of Revenue of the Ministry of Economy and Finance or at the National Bank of Panama on behalf of the National Treasury.
The recidivism in any of the conducts in the period of six months, counted from the date of the sanction, will lead to the dismissal of the responsible official (s), after the fulfillment of the pertinent administrative procedure, without prejudice to the responsibility. civil, criminal or disciplinary established by the Law or the internal regulations of the Institution.
In addition, it is established that the Comptroller's Office is empowered to retain official vehicles whose drivers violate the administrative rules that regulate the matter and will keep an annual record of public servants who are sanctioned for non-compliance with this Executive Decree, to verify the recurrence of misuse of state vehicles.