Saturday, December 16, 2017

Puerto Rico gov’t won’t publish documents presented to fiscal board yet

By on May 1, 2017

Elías Sánchez, the governor's representative to the fiscal control board (Juan J. Rodríguez/CB)

Elías Sánchez, the governor’s representative to the fiscal control board (Juan J. Rodríguez/CB)

SAN JUAN – On Sunday, the Puerto Rican government handed the fiscal control board a “draft” of the budget for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, its representative to the oversight panel, Elías Sánchez, stated.

Revised liquidity projections were also presented to the board, as well as a document detailing the steps to implement the government’s fiscal plan. However, none of the documents will be public yet, La Fortaleza told Caribbean Business.

“They are being worked on with the board and aren’t final. The implementation plan is a draft and the liquidity update is a working document,” La Fortaleza Press Secretary Yennifer Álvarez Jaimes said.

Meanwhile, in a written statement, the government’s representative to the board said that “the process of elaborating the budget for fiscal year 2018 is a joint effort between the Government of Puerto Rico and the Oversight Board, thus, the proposed budget submitted by FAFAA [Puerto Rico Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority] to the Oversight Board is a working document and not a final submission.”

Thus, the budget will be made public when “presented to the Legislative Assembly,” Sánchez said.

In accordance with the schedule established by the board for the evaluation of the government’s spending plan for the next fiscal year, the entity must pass initial judgment by May 8. The board may agree with the document or require changes by the executive branch before it is sent to the Legislature.

FAFAA Executive Director Gerardo Portela said the government “continue to provide the information requested by the Oversight Board in a complete and timely fashion in order to ensure the successful implementation of the fiscal plan.”

Government officials have said they general fund budget would be of nearly $9.3 billion. They also say spending plan uses a zero-based approach, a campaign promise.

Liquidity projections must show a $200 million cash reserve by June 30 to avoid cutting public employee workdays beginning July 1, as well as eliminating this year’s Christmas bonus.

 

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