It is called “functional fault” and the President of the Republic stressed the concept: even without individual responsibilities, that the State is responsible for the failures of services
Irrespective of political responsibilities or mistakes made by those who commanded Pedrógão Grande’s firefighting operations, the State – not just this specific Government – failed to protect its citizens by actions and omissions of measures that led to the death of 64 people. So you must take your guilt and compensate the victims with all speed. This is, in summary, is he interpretation of the words of Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, yesterday in Pedrógão, heard by the Diarios de Noticais
The President of the Republic has already read the report of the independent technical commission – which points out several failures in fire prevention and fighting in the country, in particular those of Pedrógão and Góis – and pressured the government to take “consequences”. The prime minister reacted and once again underlined the confidence in the Minister of Internal Administration.
The President wanted the conclusions of the report to support a civil accountability of the State. “Also in light of the content of the report, regarding the framework of actions and omissions in the concept of functional fault or anomalous functioning, even if not personalized,” which constitutes “a precondition of civil liability for public administration,” said the head of State. According to Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, “Portugal has a duty to make such an assessment – and quickly – given the exceptional dimension of personal injury, starting with the biggest and most poignant of them, which is the loss of so many lives.”