Executive Rentals: an investigation on rentals to Costa Rica's Executive Branch

Executive Rentals: an investigation on rentals to Costa Rica's Executive Branch

Organisation: AmeliaRueda.com (Costa Rica)

Publication Date: 04/10/2015


How many buildings rent Costa Rica's executive branch? How much taxpayer money is destined for leases? Who are the main beneficiaries? With these questions in mind, AmeliaRueda.com launched an investigation in August 2014. Over the course of six months, journalist Camila Salazar built the database of all existing leases of offices, parking lots, warehouses, land and even apartments of 15 ministries of the executive branch, except those related to the MAG (because they do not rent any premises) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (it includes properties abroad, which requires a different analysis). Subsequently, we took on the task of collecting and breaking down all the information. In most cases, it was possible to revise rental agreements in the electronic government procurement system, Comprared while the composition of the boards of directors of the public limited companies was carried on at the National Register offices. Additionally, we cross-referenced information of each board of directors with a database of contributions and donations to political parties between 2006 and January 2015, which by law is compiled by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal. Monthly rental prices contained in the database are approximate because they increase up to 15% annually. The lease amount we use is the most recent (2014) reported by each ministry. Regarding rental agreements in dollars we used the exchange rate of ¢ 545 to convert the rates to colones. The database built by AmeliaRueda.com was crucial for the comparative and systematic analysis of the executives’ branch rental agreements. In the interests of transparency we make it available in its entirety to the general public and facilitate its download in CSV format and for the first time in the country, through an API, a programming interface application.

Technologies used for this project:

HTML5, CSS3, Javascript, JS libraries: Three.js, jQuery, mySQL, JSON, CODA. Sequel Pro, SPSS, Excel, Adobe Illustrator y Photoshop . Hosted in Apache Mobile testing in Android’s SDK and IOS xCode emulator
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