Fiscal board seeks team to investigate Puerto Rico debt
SAN JUAN – The Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico has issued a request for proposals (RFP) from parties interested to be retained as an “independent investigation team” to conduct an investigation into the island’s debt and its connection to the current fiscal crisis.
The selected team will report to the fiscal board’s Special Investigation Committee, composed by members Ana Matosantos, David Skeel and Arthur González. Chairman José Carrión has recused himself from the committee “given his family’s ties to Banco Popular,” the board says in a written statement.
“While Mr. Carrión does not work for or own any stock of Banco Popular, he nevertheless decided that it was in the best interests of the investigation for him to eliminate any distractions before the Independent Investigation Team and Special Investigation Committee begin their work,” the release adds.
Regarding the type of investigation it seeks, the probe’s report “should include (i) a review of the factors contributing to Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis, including changes in the economy, expansion of spending commitments and entitlement programs, changes in the federal funding it receives, and its reliance on debt to finance a structural budget deficit; (ii) a review of Puerto Rico’s debt, the general use of proceeds, the relationship between the debt and Puerto Rico’s structural budget deficit, the range of its debt instruments, and how Puerto Rico’s debt practices compare to the debt practices of states and large municipal jurisdictions; and (iii) a review of Puerto Rico’s debt issuance, disclosure, and selling practices, including its interpretation of Puerto Rico’s constitutional debt limit,” according to the release.
Proponents, the board says, will be selected based on “professional qualifications, competitiveness of their economic proposal, completeness and quality of response to the RFP, relevant experience in conducting investigations, knowledge and experience in securities law, knowledge and experience in the municipal bond market, knowledge of government budgeting and fiscal management and ability to commence work immediately.”
The deadline for responses to the RFP, is Aug. 23 at 5 p.m.