This Wednesday, the Ministry of Justice of the Andalusian Government opened an internal investigation into the number two in the Health Department until three months ago, Miguel Ángel Guzmán, after his controversial signing by the private insurer Asisa, which has just hired him as medical director for Andalusia.

The opening of the file – called “information procedure” – takes place just a few hours after in Andalusia revealed the contract contracts that Guzmán awarded to his current company, worth 43.6 million euros, while he was manager of the Andalusian Health Service (SAS).

The emergency contracts, covered by the legal framework that the central government enabled in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, do not have publicity, competition or prior inspection. The awards to Asisa were made through the HLA hospital group, in which the insurance company grouped all its clinical centers in 2016. Both Guzmán and the Board itself cling to this distinction to defend that its signing does not violate the Law of Incompatibilities of senior positions.

The Department of Justice and Public Function, as part of an “inspection task”, must now clarify whether both the hiring of Guzmán by Asisa and the contract contracts awarded to him between January 2021 and June 2023 violate the Andalusian Law on Incompatibilities of senior officials.

The then manager of the SAS signed the original file of the contracts without public competition and two of the three extensions that extended their validity and initial budget from 70 to 243 million euros. Asisa hospitals accounted for almost 18% of these hand-picked contracts and were the first or second winner in five of the eight Andalusian provinces.

The first step of the Department of Justice has been to send a request for documentation both to the former deputy minister and to the administrative bodies for which he was responsible, that is, to the SAS and the Ministry of Health itself, headed by Catalina García, sources from the Department confirm. Department of Justice to

The Minister of Health has assured that “everything that bears the signature of her former right-hand man will be analyzed” and has regretted that Guzmán did not notify her before signing for Asisa and she had to “find out through the press.” From his department they confirm that “all the documentation of all the contracts signed by Miguel Ángel Guzmán, both in the SAS and in the ministry, is being compiled to pass it on” to the Department of Justice.

The so-called “information procedure” in the public administration is “the step prior to the initiation of the disciplinary procedure or, where appropriate, the filing of the proceedings.”

The internal investigation that has been initiated by the Ministry of Justice, also responsible for the Public Function area, can archive the case, if it does not perceive signs of infringement, or refer it to the Andalusian Office against Fraud and Corruption, as they have already done today two left-wing groups in the opposition: Por Andalucía and Adelante Andalucía.

The Anti-Fraud Office has sanctioning powers; if it confirms an assumption of incompatibility in the transition from public to private administration of the former Minister of Health, it may sanction him and communicate it directly to him. The law that regulates the creation of this office, from 2021, modified some aspects of the Andalusian Law on Incompatibilities of Senior Positions, including sanctioning jurisdiction. Guzmán faces disqualification from holding public office in the Junta de Andalucía for up to a maximum of ten years.

After revealing the hand-picked award of 44 million euros to Asisa hospitals and clinics during his time as SAS manager, the insurer insists that they are not “rethinking” the hiring of Guzmán, which has not yet been made effective , although his incorporation is scheduled for next Monday. “Mr. Guzmán has communicated that he has initiated the procedures to guarantee that there is no incompatibility. We believe that he will join and that it will be great for him and for us, because we value his experience,” Asisa sources emphasize.

His jump from the top of Andalusian public health management to one of the largest private insurers in Spain – with a dozen hospitals and clinical centers in Andalusia – has raised a storm of criticism and complaints from the opposition, which accuses Guzmán of failing to comply the Incompatibilities Law for having ignored the minimum period of two years required by the norm to be able to enter a company in the sector in which they have had direct powers.

Guzmán denies that his move from the senior management of Andalusian public health to a private insurer, in just three months, incurs any incompatibility or revolving doors because Asisa “does not currently have any contractual relationship with the Andalusian Government.” .

Both Asisa and sources from the Andalusian Executive agree in separating the insurer – which has hired Guzmán – from the HLA Group, which includes the private hospitals that received the SAS contracts signed by the then manager. “They are two different things,” they warn, although the matrix is ​​the same.

Two years mandatory term

The Andalusian Law on Incompatibility of Senior Positions prohibits “the performance, by oneself or by an intermediary, of positions of any kind, management or representation functions, as well as advice and mediation of companies or concessionaire companies, real estate companies, construction contractors, services or supplies, or with participation or aid from the public sector, regardless of their legal configuration.”

The Minister of Justice, José Antonio Nieto, explained this Wednesday that the objective of this law is that “no person takes advantage of their membership in a Government of the Junta to have an advantage” but – he clarified – the reason for the rule It is not “a punishment that prevents him from carrying out a professional task, that he has to be locked up in a convent for two years, because that would imply that whoever was part of the Government would be practically disqualified from any other action in the future.”

Sources from the San Telmo Palace, headquarters of the Board, are inclined to see “total compatibility” in the move of the former number two in Health to the private insurer because, they say, “there is no direct relationship between the positions that Guzmán held. in the public administration and the management position that he will now occupy in an insurance company.”

All opposition parties have demanded clarification of this matter, from Vox to the PSOE, although the left-wing bench has raised the tone by speaking directly about Moreno’s “political corruption”, “plot” and “macro-cause” for the “dismantling of healthcare.” public in favor of private businesses.” The Andalusian socialists advance that their group in the Congress of Deputies will summon members of the Andalusian Executive to testify before the investigation commission for the contracts awarded by the Board to private clinics.


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