Mismanagement at COTEL allegedly caused USD124m losses

1 May 2012

Bolivia’s Co-operativa de Telefonos Automaticos La Paz (COTEL) is reported to have amassed losses totalling BOB864 million (USD124 million) as a result of at least ten years of mismanagement. BNamericas reports that the claim has been made in a report produced by a lower house special inquiry committee, which has recommended that the comptroller general should conduct special audits on the telco, which is the incumbent local telephony provider in Bolivia’s former capital La Paz and the country’s largest telecoms cooperative. Such audits, it is understood, would focus in particular on the operator’s procurement and acquisition methods, while the committee has also recommended implementing measures to re-do COTEL’s financial results. Further, a public bidding process to hire several executives, including a new CEO and CFO, has been suggested, while the report also calls for an inter-institutional committee to draft new bylaws for the company; likely participants in the working group would include local telephony cooperatives association Fecotel and telecoms regulator La Autoridad de Telecomunicaciones y Transportes (ATT), among others.