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DACO allegedly eliminated mobile app over political differences

By on October 18, 2016

SAN JUAN – The director of the Puerto Rico Center for Strategic Studies, Hiram Torres Montalvo, denounced Tuesday that the Consumer Affairs Department (DACO by its Spanish acronym) has deactivated the mobile application that allowed consumers to present complaints electronically.

“During the administration of then-Gov. Luis Fortuño, DACO developed an information technology project to speed up and simplify the complaint filing process. The principal purpose was to address the considerable number of filed complaints and offer the consumer the tools necessary to process their concerns with the agency from the comfort of their homes,” the lawyer explained.

DACO Secretary Nery Adames Soto

DACO Secretary Nery Adames Soto

He ventured that “unfortunately, current DACO Secretary Nery Adames Soto eliminated that system merely because it was launched by an administration that wasn’t theirs.”

Read more: Comptroller Audit Finds Irregularities at DACO

On October 2012, DACO announced the integration of a smartphone application called ‘DACO Móvil’ [DACO Mobile], as well as a new webpage to file complaints within the agency’s official website.

The project required months of work and a more than $30,000 investment in public funds. The mobile app was available for Apple and Android operating systems.

“After the government administration change, the applications stopped receiving due maintenance until they stopped working and were deactivated by order of Secretary Adames, understanding they were a product of the last administration,” Torres Montalvo said.

Read more: Senate Hearings to Reveal DACO’s Most Fined Companies

Torres Montalvo said that “the system worked, as confirmed by the comptroller. There were 3,248 claims registered in the system from October 2012 until December 2013, out of which 682 became complaints. The truth is, it worked, and very well.”

The most recent report from the Comptroller’s Office regarding DACO’s operations indicates the decision is detrimental to Puerto Rican consumers. The report, revealed last week, states the system was deactivated in December 2013.

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