Sunday , June 11 2023

Direct adjustment to "apparent conflict of interest" and links to PS by ANTRAM spokesperson – Observer


André Matias was a municipal deputy for PS and appointed by the Côte d’Or to the General Council of two funds with over 300 million endowments. He says that after the strike, he leaves the office.

The war between drivers and bosses was also fought by spokesmen, both lawyers: Pedro Pardal Henriques and André Matias de Almeida. And if the union representative began to be examined as early as the April strike (first by the leading Maserati, then by a candidate for deputy by the Marino and Pinto party), the ANTRAM spokesperson had just gained prominence and the being involved in controversy. Firstly, as reported in July, André Matias is a PS activist and has twice been nominated by António Costa's government. In fact, the Observer learned, he was even elected to the socialist lists: it was municipal deputy by PS in São Pedro do Sul and became coordinator of the local JS. Although the mediator of the arms struggle of the unions is the PS government, André Matias sees no problem in being from that party. In fact, he assures the Observer that he was not appointed by the government by the war card, but by "a friend's invitation."

There is also a recording of approx direct persuasion made by an association, Startup Portugal, in which André Matias de Almeida is president of the General Assembly, providing legal services to his lawyer. The startup association is partly funded by public money and André Matias – according to the lawyer's website where he works – "coordinates the Start Ups team" at Albuquerque & Almeida. However, just as he sees no problem in being a PS and being a party to a conflict in which the PS government is a mediator, the lawyer also sees no ethical incompatibility in this direct compromise. Neither Albuquerque & Almeida's management and startup Portugal see ethical issues in their contract. The Association Integrity and Transparency sees "conflict of interestsAnd says the entities allow with this lack of "caution" to settle "suspicion"About the contractual relationship.

André Matias de Almeida became President of Startup Portugal's General Assembly in August 2017. Three months later, as stated in, that association – which was then partially funded by public money – made a direct adjustment to the 14,500 euros (plus TVA) ) for “acquisition of legal support services for drafting protocols and regulations". The award was made to Albuquerque & Almeida Advogados. This is not only the office of André Matias Almeida, but also the area he coordinates, Startups, in this office. Prior to this date, there was no record in the public announcement of any contract between Startup Portugal association and that office, however, as stated, neither the association nor André Matias de Almeida sees ethical issues in the contract (which is signed by partner Alexandre Albuquerque and CEO of Startup Portugal Simon Schaefe ).

André Matias de Almeida became President of Startup Portugal's General Assembly in August 2017. Three months later, as stated on the website, that association – which was then partially funded by public money – made an adjustment. € 14,500 (including VAT) for "purchase of legal support services for drafting protocols and regulations".

André Matias de Almeida tells the Observer that he was not "involved in this adjustment"And that"not even"It was he who"handled it internally"According to the survey, following the questions raised by the Observer, the contract"represented a monthly agreement of around 1,100 euros / month for legal services provided over one year"The lawyer also points out that" the Chairman of the Board of the General Assembly of has no influence of such decisions, neither has it ever been decided in AG nor could it be. So it is by law. Such competence belongs to the executive body – the management. "In other words, for the lawyer, the fact that there was a direct agreement three months after reaching the boards of the association was a coincidence.

The president of the civic association "Integrity and Transparency", João Paulo Batalha, says that this contract was "avoidable"And"should not have happened"And that"there is a conflict of interest at least apparently ". João Paulo Batalha says that "even if he was not responsible for the contract, it would mean that instead of ethics there was legal incompatibility, both the association and the lawyer are at least subject to the suspicion that he, from the boards, may have tried to recruit customers. "

The president of the Association for Integrity and Transparency says there will always be doubt if one does not try to set foot on the door, which translates to "an apparent conflict of interest." "It is true that in Portugal no importance is given to real conflicts of interest, much less possible and apparent, but it was avoidable, of course. there are business relationships between the two entities and it belongs to both"He explains. And he adds:" Even in a private association, you should avoid it, being involved in public money should be more careful".

The management of Albuquerque & Almeida Advogados explains that "Dr. André Matias de Almeida (…) is a partnership of the Company, with the responsibility of coordinating the Venture Capital area and coordinator of the Private Equity area" and that “Albuquerque & Almeida provides legal services to public entities for dozens of years, long before joining the office of Dr. André Matias de Almeida, being regularly requested to provide legal aid to various entities in the startup sector (public and private). "

It is true, according to the advertised website, that for several years the company was employed by public entities, such as the Coimbra Chamber, but it is also a fact that it was the first time it was hired by Startup Portugal, created in 2016. .

About the contract, the company adds that "was celebrated with full respect for all public and private equity rules Furthermore, at the end of it, Startup Portugal was not even subject to public procurement rules. "Therefore, the question the Observer addressed to society when he got this answer was the ethical question and not the legal one.

When asked if André Matias de Almeida was affected by this process, the company spokesman explains that the lawyer "is not a partner of this lawyer and therefore neither had any influence on the content of the legal service proposals Which the office does with its clients ”. He also adds that President of the General Assembly of Portugal Initial, André Matias de Almeida "had no involvement in this contract, And the contacts were established at the level of management of both entities. "The same company explains that" regularly consults hundreds of entities in the region. start-ups", An activity he did long before he could count on his team of professionals with the valuable collaboration of Dr. André Matias de Almeida."

In the same way as the lawyer, the director of Startup Portugal, João Borga, also sees no ethical problem in this procedure and points out that André Matias leads a social body without executive authority. "We're not working with André's department. He has the area of start-ups, but we're talking more about protocols and human resources", Justifies João Borga with statements to the Observer.

The director of the public utility association also explains that Startup Portugal is currently subject to public procurement rules, but says he has "an email from the responsible entity to prove that it was not yet in 2017". And he adds: "It wasn't until 2018 when the funding became largely public, largely because of community funding." However the contract was then advertised on the website.

There is also an unspeakable detail: the association was in part, though not until early 2018, financed by public money at the time of direct adjustment. Although the procedure was done using this direct adjustment model, João Borga says that three entities were heard and Almeida & Albuquerque "presented the best proposal". The director also reiterates that André Matias was not affected by this employment. In addition, João Borga praises the employee company that emphasizes "quality work".

The contract by direct agreement explains that the "development of protocols and regulations" is involved in the project "Startup Portugal-International Reference Enterprise Ecosystem".

Although the contract was made under the project "Initial Portugal-International Reference Enterprise Ecosystem"Candidate to SIAC_POCI (the Operational Program for Competitiveness and Internationalization), André Matias de Almeida, the lawyer and the Startup Portugal association." make sure the process did not go through the initial coordinator.

André Matias de Almeida was elected municipal deputy of the PS in São Pedro do Sul during the 2013-2017 term. Before being elected at the age of 24, the Socialist was a local JS coordinator when he was just 22 years old. In the minutes of the meetings of the Municipal Assembly it is possible to verify that André Matias Almeida intervened and even criticized the government of Passos Coelho.

At a meeting on June 30, 2014, one month after the end of the troop relief program, Deputy André Matias de Almeida stated at the São Pedro do Sul Municipal Assembly, as stated in the minutes, that "school closure was further cut the square of governor and government without knowing the reality of the country, and that surprised the PSD bench to defend this closure. "

At a meeting on June 30, 2014, one month after the end of the troop relief program, Deputy André Matias de Almeida stated in the São Pedro do Sul Municipal Assembly, as stated in the lawsuits, that "the closure of schools was more a cut for the governor and a square of the government without knowing the reality of the country, and that surprised the PSD bench in defending this closure. "

As a city deputy he also fought for City Youth Council, denounced operations of the city company Termalistur in previous terms (which he considered irregular) and defended, for example, the creation of Citizen Space in São Pedro do Sul. Asked by the Observer about this As city deputy, André Matias de Almeida says he accepted the challenge [sua] "I just didn't do it because I couldn't."

During this period, he defended a bet on the A24 as a privileged link to São Pedro do Sul, as he even told Radio Lafões on January 12, 2016. In this speech, he accused Secretary of State Sergio Monteiro of failing to fulfill a vow. which I did during the municipalities of 2013 and still praised the election of Brother Bruno Matias as national youth representative of the presidential candidacy of Maria de Belém Roseira.

André Matias de Almeida's term of office at the Municipal Assembly ended in September 2017. He was a city deputy when, on May 26, 2017, was appointed chairman of the General Council of the Autonomous Merger and Fund Support Fund (FACCE) of the Government of António Costa. FACCE is a "stand-alone fund for business concentration and consolidation" created by the government of José Sócrates in 2009, with a budget allocation of € 175 million, which is a co-financing mechanism for the restructuring, concentration and consolidation of particularly Small and Medium Enterprises ”.

The appointment was made by the then Secretary of State for Industry, João Vasconcelos, who died in March of this year. André Matias de Almeida tells the Observer that he accepted the position "at the invitation of a friend." [João Vasconcelos]"And not by connecting to the PS. There is, however, one family call with the then office of the Secretary of State for Industry. Brother Bruno Matias of Almeida (also a member of JS) was a cabinet specialist by João Vasconcelos since November 30, 2016. André was named after the governor with whom brother Bruno worked directly.

However, there is a family relationship with the then Secretary of State's Office of Industry. Brother Bruno Matias of Almeida (also a member of JS) has been an experienced technician in João Vasconcelos' office since November 30, 2016. André was named after the governor with whom brother Bruno worked directly.

And it would be reinstated by the same governor only 17 days later. On June 12, André Matias was reinstated by the executive chairman of another fund: the Special Agency for Commercial Real Estate Support Fund (FIEAE). FIEAE currently has an association of 138 million euros, is owned by two thirds of IAPMEI (66.7%), and the others belong to Tourism of Portugal (33.3%). It was created in accordance with the SME Consolidated Program as a "financial instrument for improving the financial conditions of businesses, especially of SME". The activity of this fund involves "acquisition of real estate related to the activity of the company and subsequent leasing to the company", to help the company overcome financial constraints.

To the Observer, André Matias of Almeida made sure that as soon as this entire hectic period of the driver strike had passed, will leave both positions of government appointment.

On the Albuquerque & Almeida website, it is described that André Matias de Almeida is a graduate of the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon, where he obtained a postgraduate degree in Financial Law and a master's degree in risk capital.

Along the same page, Albuquerque & Almeida coordinates the office's Start Ups team and "is active in media law, business and corporate law, private equity, venture capital, mergers and acquisitions and often participates in litigation. Corporate capital." , he "coordinates a line of Portuguese legislation of Coimbra Editora / Livraria Jurídica" and is "a member of an international foundation in Portugal and co-founder of the first youth association for European affairs". He is also "a member of the boards of various investment funds".

According to the OA website, André Matias de Almeida is enrolled in the Bar less than four years ago (poll 54737L, with registration date of 11-03-2015). But the lawyer himself informed the Observer after the publication of this article, which has been registered with the Bar since 2012 (meaning he has been registering for over six years) and that 2015 is exactly the year the ballot was published. The lawyer represents figures as musician Tony Career, who publicly confessed to being a friend.

Note: Following the publication of this article, lawyer André Matias de Almeida informed the Observer that he had registered with the Portuguese Bar since 2012 and not since 2015, as shown by the official OA website. The post-title of this article was also changed minutes after its publication to a more precise and precise wording, now realizing that André Matias de Almeida was appointed president of the General Council of those two entities.

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