Decree No. 201/2017 established a new protocol applicable to proceedings between the Federal Government and parties related to the President or other authorities of the Executive Branch of the Federal Government.
On March 22, 2017, Decree No. 201/2017 was published in the Official Gazette, establishing a special protocol for proceedings "of any nature" between the Federal Government and individuals or legal entities related to the highest authorities of the Executive Branch of the Federal Government.
The Decree applies to proceedings involving a "Federal Public Sector" entity, as defined by Section 8, Law No. 24,156 (i.e., the federal administration (central administration and de-centralized entities), state-owned companies and corporations, public entities, and trust funds formed in or all (or in a majority) by the Federal Government's assets and/or funds).
As per the "whereas" section of the Decree, pursuant to the Argentine Public Ethics Law No. 25,188, and the Administrative Proceedings Law No. 19,549, "public officers have a duty to refrain from being involved in matters whereby they (or parties that are particularly related to them) have a direct and substantial interest."
Regarding the highest authorities of the Executive Branch, "it is necessary to determine the cases whereby a personal relationship exists between such public officers and the individuals or legal entities that are parties to a process against the Federal Government. These cases may create doubts regarding whether they are managed appropriately, and thus, must be treated with the highest standards of institutional responsibility, transparency and consideration of the defense of public interest."
The new Decree provides that the Federal General Counsel (Procurador del Tesoro de la Nación) (the "General Counsel") must represent and/or advise the Federal Government in the proceedings in which parties (or their legal representatives or legal advisors in the process (letrados patrocinantes)) are related to the President, the Vice President, the Chief of Cabinet of Ministers, or any other Minister of the Federal Executive Branch or authority of similar rank.
When are parties considered to be related to the authorities of the Federal Executive Branch?
Under the Decree, the parties are deemed related to the highest authorities of the Federal Executive Branch in the following circumstances:
family ties within the fourth degree of consanguinity and the second of affinity,