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Politician highlights Portimão Conservatory “scandal” to Justice Minister

portimao scandalSocial Democrat (PSD) MP Rui Cristina has brought to the attention of the Minister of Justice Francisca Van Dunem, in a hearing held on Tuesday at the Assembly of the Republic “the anomalous functioning of the Land, Commercial and Automobile Registry Conservatory of Portimão”.

According to the PSD parliamentarian, an individual responsible for the administration of the public office has been reported due to irregularities in her workplace, and the Bar Association has filed a complaint due to the outstanding debts to clients and lawyers, from over three years ago.

A few months ago, “an investigation into the irregular functioning, which has been going on for three years, was ignored, nothing came of it”, added the MP.

Considering that the Conservatory provides indispensable service, and all are affected by the conditions in which these services are being provided in Portimão, Mr. Cristina presented a list of irregularities to the governor.

According to the deputy, “the Conservatory works on a part-time basis, there are no commercial registrations, the building and car registrations only have one employee accounted for, and the opening hours are reduced exclusively to the period of the morning”.

Another of the anomalies cited was the fact that on March 3rd, 2020, the Conservatory “was completely closed for lack of personnel, and there are complaints from employees of situations of moral harassment, discriminated persecution, of being denied access to the electronic platforms, and also of public office’s unnamed head transforming the employees paid by the State into her personal employees”.

Currently, there are six low-income employees, while the woman under investigation “keeps a high record of being absent, not attending scheduled meeting, or cancelling them. However, she signs the attendance book, whilst omitting the employees and tampering with official salaries”, denounced the parliamentarian.

Mr. Cristina, echoing the complaint of the Bar Association, also referred that “this situation is extremely serious, and causes serious damage to citizens, the public purse, officials and other judicial agents”.

In this context, the parliamentarian wanted to know if the Justice Minister was aware of the situation, as well as the result of the inquiry initiated regarding the facts in question. In response, the Justice Minister noted “she has no knowledge of the related facts”.

Ms. Van Dunem promised “speed” in finding out about the situation and thus taking action. Meanwhile, Rui Cristina added other facts of which the Justice Minister should have received knowledge: “Of 50 thousand euros, about 30 thousand euros of that disappeared from the time when she was appointed.” For the MP, the prolonged ignoring of this situation is “a scandal”, and he wonders how the Institute of Registries and Notaries (IRN) “did not put an end to the anomalies that caused serious losses” for citizens, the public and the employees, as well as the difficulties caused to lawyers, Courts and the Tax Authority.

“The Directorate-General of the Institute of Registries and Notaries, which should have acted, but didn’t, should immediately suspend those who commit these irregularities, thus contributing to a solution to the serious situation at the Conservatory of Portimão, which seems to be a degrading image of the public service “, stressed Mr. Cristina in a public statemento sent to the Barlavento newspaper.