ECONOMY

Report puts PPC technicians’ union expenses under scrutiny

The former board of the Public Power Corporation’s Technicians’ Union (ETE) stands accused of a series of financial and administrative violations, according to an inspection report for the 2010-11 period which has been submitted to a prosecutor and serves to illustrate the extent of union mismanagement in Greece.

The report, which Kathimerini has seen, accuses three ETE board members of serious economic and management abuses during that period.

For instance, membership fees were not deposited into ETE’s bank account but rather, against the provision of the union’s charters, remained in the hands of one person in cash form. Furthermore, the ETE fund shows travel expenditures came to 215,640 euros in 2010 and 197,943 euros in 2011, with the committee conducting the inspection finding that most of that money was credited to the same three board members. The absence of receipts or invoices for those expenses raises suspicions as to how the money was actually spent.

Another large portion of expenditure concerns small receipts produced by board members and others on a monthly basis for reimbursements. For instance, there were receipts from supermarkets, butchers and clothing stores, and for purchases including alcoholic drinks, cigarettes and gas for vehicles etc. The amount of those receipts totals 45,552 euros for 2010 and 60,464 euros for 2011. There were receipts for spending on washing detergents and similar products amounting to 800 euros every month on average.

Those receipts were submitted mostly by board members, but without specifying their names so that individual spending could be monitored. “The extent of spending recorded by small receipts constitutes excessive waste, an unjustified outflow of funds and deliberate mismanagement,” the report stresses.

It goes on to pose a number of questions concerning the fact that the organization awarded several events to one specific travel agency without the bidding process that the law stipulates.

There is also a long list of expenses regarding the union’s publishing activity. The report has identified bogus invoices and charges for magazines that were never published or mailed or reached union members in any fashion. A characteristic example of this was the publication of the Enotiko Vima magazine. The expenses list includes the “publication” of 6,000 copies of issue number 196, for March-April 2010, at a cost of 6,752 euros. The issue is identical in material and content to the previous one, published in January-February 2010, so there should have been no reason for its “publication.”