A small horticultural plant supplier in S. Vicente, in the North of Madeira, received over 3 million Euros from the Government for removing debris following the 20th February 2010 floods.
Although it had no license for this type of work, the government adjudicated the company 3,1 million Euros for helping in the clean-up operation. The companies profits rose from 2,7 thousand euros in 2009 to 1.589 million Euros in 2010. The company only changed its license, to enable it to carry out construction work etc, after it had received the government contracts.
The company received eight government contracts in all, for works all over the island. The Court Auditor's Report writes that the adjudication took place verbally on the very day of the floods. The Auditors drew attention to the fact that there is no register of the works having been followed by an inspector and the only basis to verify the value of the bills is the information supplied by the company.
This is one of the cases that the Public Prosecutor is investigating at the Secretariat of Public Works.
The requirement for public enders was waived due to this being an emergency situation. However, when the national Reconstruction Funding package for Madeira (known as the Lei de Meios) was put together, this rule continued, which meant that works done weeks and even months later were approved along the same lines. Worse, the amount of 1080 million finance package for reconstruction was based on a so-called survey of the damages incurred, which amounted to a single page of a seven page report. The reconstruction funding was a blank cheque for the Jardim Government to do as it pleased; reconstruction money was soon being diverted for new projects.