What the Court of Auditors cannot do on the deluxe syringes bought by Arcuri for vaccines

What the Court of Auditors cannot do on the deluxe syringes bought by Arcuri for vaccines

All the latest news on the case of syringes purchased by the commissioner structure headed by Arcuri for anti Covid vaccines

The road of the Covid Emergency Commissioner Domenico Arcuri suddenly became difficult, paved as it is with Luer lock syringes. They are the deluxe variant of the traditional ones, which the number 1 of Invitalia bought at a high price. Even six times as much compared to normal counterparts, according to what Repubblica writes today. On the matter, raised in recent days in particular by the newspaper La Verità and the Tagadà broadcast (La7), the accounting magistrates now want to see clearly, to understand whether there have been waste of public resources. However, the investigations of the Court of Auditors risk breaking against the shield of the Cura Italia decree which protects – according to the unanimous interpretations of the jurists – the commissioner from the troubles of justice, placing him, unique in Italy, above the law. But let's go in order.


Arcuri, for his part, has been saying and repeating for some time that Luer lock syringes were purchased with foresight: they would in fact allow every vial of vaccine to be “milked” up to the impossible, in order to obtain the famous six doses instead of the five official ones. In reality, as Luciano Capone wrote on the sheet and as Start also wrote, it does not seem that things are exactly like this. Indeed, according to many doctors they would not even be used to vaccinate people .


And let's get to the point. What did the commissioner structure run by Arcuri buy? Start had already pointed out some aspects a few weeks ago . For Il Tempo, the super-syringes “were bought in Hong Kong, paying four times the cost of all the others. Each with seven different needles ".

The company that won the bid on syringes is Red Lotus Ltd which, according to what La Verità wrote , will deliver 60 million syringes in eight tranches for € 0.44. A cost much higher than the price of the luer lock syringes that the Italian Dealfa srl ​​will supply, which was awarded 53 million pieces: the first three million will be sold for 0.128 euros. The cost will then drop to 0.069 for supplies until February 28 and 0.06 for subsequent ones.

In some hospitals in Rome, the luer lock syringes sent by Domenico Arcuri are from Becton Dickinson, or simply BD, an American multinational of medical technology that produces and sells medical devices, instrument systems and reagents.


Then there is the issue, lateral, but not least, of the non-delivery of the syringes themselves in hospitals. According to some, the media chaos over vaccine delays was even artfully raised to hide the real problem of syringes, Luer lock or normal, would disappear. For the vaccination centers of various Regions (including Lombardy, Sicily, Emilia Romagna) "there is no shortage of doses of Pfizer vaccine, but the precision syringes that allow you to extract the right amount are not proportionate to the vials: if we had those we could always have six doses per vial and not 5, as suggested by Aifa, and try to fill the gap ". The last report was on 23 January.


"While understanding that there may be the will to divert the attention of citizens from the real news that these days are attentive to the correct continuation of the vaccination campaign in Italy, that is, Pfizer's failure to supply vaccine vials destined for our country – Arcuri snapped back – after reading learned disquisitions on the number of doses per vial (6 instead of 5) now we learn that the problem would once again be the lack of precision syringes ". A problem which, the Commissioner continues, "is obviously false". This is precisely because it was decided to distribute fewer syringes because Pfizer sent fewer vials of the vaccine. "Finally, we wanted to reassure that, when the regular distribution of vaccines resumes – concludes Arcuri – there will certainly be no shortage of syringes".


But let's go back to the main story: on the one hand the newspapers speak of an increase in expenditure of about 1.7 million, on the other, if Arcuri's thesis were true, there would be a saving of sixty million on vaccines. In the middle, the Lazio Public Prosecutor's Office now creeps in and has opened a file to check if there has been waste. “And this is not the only hypothesis of tax damage on which we intend to proceed – today reveals the Republic . Other open files, again by the accounting magistrates of Rome, would concern the supply of masks, and the contract for school desks with wheels ”.


However, it will first be necessary to understand if the accounting judiciary has a real possibility of investigation, because the Decree-Law of 17 March 2020, n. 18 , or Cura Italia, has foreseen, in the knowledge that the super commissioner, having to make millions of purchases in great haste (let's not forget that in March everything was missing: masks, respirators, gloves, gowns …), he could not have gone too far for the subtle, by checking with normal diligence the contracts signed and the quality of the material purchased, a super shield. In article 122 paragraph 8 we read: "In relation to the contracts relating to the purchase of the goods referred to in paragraph 1, as well as for any other negotiation act resulting from the urgent need to deal with the emergency referred to in paragraph 1, placed in be by the Commissioner and by the implementing bodies, Article 29 of the decree of the President of the Council of Ministers of 22 November 2010, containing "Discipline of the financial and accounting autonomy of the Presidency of the Council" does not apply and all such acts are also removed from control by the Court of Auditors, without prejudice to reporting obligations ".

A real shield, which gives Arcuri the possibility of spending without limits and without justifying himself with anyone, not even with the accounting magistrates who do just that as a job: making sure that there is no waste among the officials of the Public Administration. A quick read of the article, there seems to be only one very narrow road for the Public Prosecutor: "For the same acts, the accounting and administrative responsibility is in any case limited only to cases in which the intent of the official or the agent who put them in place or who executed them ". In short, to proceed it would be necessary to demonstrate Arcuri's willful misconduct (for example that he was in league with those who produce the syringes, or that he was aware of being wasteful).

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/sanita/cosa-non-potra-fare-la-corte-dei-conti-sulle-siringhe-deluxe-comprate-da-arcuri-per-i-vaccini/ on Wed, 27 Jan 2021 14:23:32 +0000.