Argentina appoints bureaucrats to advise on seized energy fund's investments

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Argentina has created a new technical commission to oversee disbursements of the recently nationalized electric works fund.

The fund for power distribution consolidation and expansion works (Focede) was previously administered by distributors, Edesur and Edenor.

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In early 2014 the distributors' alleged mismanagement of successive blackouts in Buenos Aires prompted the federal planning minister to seize control of the investment fund.

The commission will be tasked with advising the planning ministry on technical, economic and other aspects of the Focede-funded investments, according to the announcement of the commission in the official gazette

Representatives from the national power regulator Enre, the energy and the public works secretariats, will constitute the commission. The economy and public finance ministry, along with the government's internal control body Sigen, will also be invited to join the commission.

In 2012, the federal government allowed power distributors of the Argentine capital to charge their customers an additional fee - which went to fund Focede - to be used for new infrastructure and maintenance of Buenos Aires' grid.