Mariano Obarrio gives a detailed description of the growth of the Argentine State according to the number of dependencies within each ministry.
The increase in the number of ministries and the near limitless creation of administrative structures within Macri’s government can be seen at the Ministry for the Modernization of the State’s web page. Its director, Andrés Ibarra, offers a map of the Argentine State in which a box in an organizational chart, which in political slang is called ravioli, represents each job. The “ravioli factory” is working at full swing.
The Minister of Finance, Nicolás Dujovne, should reduce public spending but instead he has created 3 Secretaries of State, 12 Sub secretaries and 122 Directorates, National Directorates or General Directorates.
The portfolio of Modernization, which didn’t exist in 2015, was created to reduce the State and make it more efficient but has 4 Secretaries of State, 9 Sub secretaries and 92 Directorates. The Ministry of Social Development, lead by Carolina Stanley, has 5 Secretaries, 16 Sub secretaries and 92 Directorates.
The Presidency includes 4 secretaries, on top of the Social Policy Advisory Council, the secret service, 10 Sub secretaries and 100 Directorates. Chief of Staff Marcos Peña oversees 5 secretaries, 9 sub secretaries, 79 directorates, the “Plan Belgrano” for the development of northern provinces and the Federal Media System.
The same happens in every Ministry: Labor (3 secretaries, 9 sub secretaries and 67 directorates), Energy (4, 13 and 83), Production (5, 14 and 90), Transportation (3,11 and 98), Agriculture (5, 16 and 85), Foreign Affairs (4, 9 and 112), Justice (3, 7 and 88), Environment (3,4 and 38) and Interior (6,14 and 91).
The most austere ministry is the Ministry of Finance (3, 3 and 12), but it was created just last January. Before that it was a sub secretary within the Economics Ministry. According to Agustín Etchebarne, director of the Libertad y Progreso Foundation, the Argentine State includes 43 secretaries and sub secretaries for coordination. Each minister, secretary, sub secretary, some directors, presidents of public enterprises, judges, senators and congressmen have cars and drivers at their disposal.
Marcos Peña is responsible for the creation of many a ravioli. José Cano, director of the Plan Belgrano unit, does not have executive functions. He is in charge of coordination. This unit did not exist before 2015 but now has 3 coordination units.
The Secretariat of Public Infrastructure for the Interior is in charge of it execution, but paradoxically its leadership is vacant since Daniel Chain left. It has 2 sub secretaries.
Another plate of ravioli served was the Federal Media System, directed by Hernán Lombardo, which now has 2 secretaries, one sub secretary and 25 directorates, on top of Channel 7, the National Radio and Télam, Tecnópolis and the Kirchner Cultural Center.
Official media had traditionally been territory of the Secretary of Communications but now Jorge Grecco has the job, and is in charge of 3 sub secretaries and 27 directorates.
3 organisms are in charge of attracting investments: The National Agency for Investments lead by Juan Procaccini (Production), the Secretariat of International Economic Relations lead by Horacio Reuser (Foreign Affairs) and the Secretariat for Agro industrial Markets lead by Delia Bircher (Agriculture). On top of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs Macri named a Secretary of Strategic Issues, Fulvio Pompeo, who has to 2 sub secretaries and 4 directorates under him working in international relations. None of them existed before.
Carolina Stanley (Social Development) presides over the National Council for Social Policy in the Presidency. She does it ad honorem, but the council includes 23 directorates that are paid. Its purpose is identical to that of the ministry she leads.
*Originally appeared in La Nación, one of Argentinas main newspapers.