CAMBIO, IEEFA secure agreement to obtain documents from Puerto Rico utility
Judge Cuevas gives Prepa 14 days to disclose documents
SAN JUAN – Puerto Rican non-profit CAMBIO and the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), an Ohio-based clean energy think tank, obtained a court agreement that the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa) pledged to respond to and deliver within 14 days public documents regarding the utility’s privatization process, as well as data about the electrical system.
The agreement was reached in the courtroom of Superior Court Judge Anthony Cuevas Ramos of the Court of First Instance in San Juan. On Friday, the judge responded to the mandamus petition presented by CAMBIO and IEEFA to receive information that they had unsuccessfully attempted to obtain from Prepa since February.
The organizations said Judge Cuevas stressed that access to public information is a constitutional right. He declared a court recess and invited Ingrid M. Vila Biaggi, engineer and founder of the environmental group CAMBIO, with her attorneys Judith Berkan and Mary Jo Méndez, to reach agreements with the attorneys representing Prepa, Fernando Fornaris and Katiuska Bolanos of Cancio Nadal, as well as Prepa legal director Astrid Rodríguez Cruz.
“The judge was extremely clear on the importance of making public documents accessible to citizens and that the documents must be made available to all. The judge exhorted us to reach an agreement and precisely define the delivery dates of the requested documents,” Vila Biaggi said in a release.
She added that, as part of the agreement, they requested documents from Jan. 1, 2018, to the present related to the privatization as well as recent data related to the electrical grid. The parties agreed that by June 7, Prepa would respond to the entire information request.
In their petition, CAMBIO and IEEFA called for specific information including cost-benefit studies on the proposed transmission and distribution system concession, as well as documents related to generation proposals, among others.
The judge scheduled a subsequent hearing for June 25 to go over the document delivery.