Fiscal control board meets for third time
SAN JUAN – The fiscal control board created by the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act (Promesa) was holding its third meeting Thursday. It is the first time it does so officially in Puerto Rico.
While in a meeting room of El Conquistador Resort, the fiscal board’s seven members will again address the island’s fiscal and economic plan, as well as the current condition of the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (Prasa by its Spanish acronym), among other matters.
In Fajardo and elsewhere, several activist groups were demonstrating against the federal law, the fiscal board and the colonial relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico. The commonwealth government had announced a security plan earlier this week.
The board’s agenda begins with the approval of the minutes of its last meeting on Oct. 14 in New York, followed by a message from Chairman José Carrión III. It will also announce the rules to approve transactions by the central government, public corporations and other instrumentalities already under the immediate oversight of the board since its first meeting in late September.
A presentation by Conway MacKenzie on the government’s liquidity as well as cash flow projections was made. As previously reported by Caribbean Business, the most recent fiscal information disclosed by the Alejandro García Padilla administration reflects the commonwealth government’s precarious liquidity situation, which will deteriorate in February when the Puerto Rico Emergency Moratorium & Financial Rehabilitation Act expires and the government runs the risk of not having enough money to finance its operations.
Following the government-contracted firm’s presentation, the discussion will revolve around the long-term fiscal plan submitted by the outgoing administration last month. It is expected that after hearing comments on the plan by a long list of deponents, the board announces both guidelines and a timetable for the delivery and certification of the document.
Among those to depose before the board is economist Andrew Wolfe, who worked with Dr. Anne Krueger on the well-known “Krueger Report,” one of the first reports commissioned by the current administration detailing the island’s dire fiscal and economic health.
Also participating are the president of Fundación Comunitaria, Dr. Nelson Colón; the leader the Bonistas del Patio creditor group and former Government Development Bank President Jorge Irizarry; the president-elect of the Chamber of Commerce, Alicia Lamboy; the president of the Manufacturers Association, Rodrigo Masses; the president-elect of the CPA Society, José Orta; the president of the Hospitals Association, Jaime Plá; the executive director of Jubilee USA, Eric LeCompte; Iván Román representing the Pharmaceutical Industry Association; and the president of Estudios Técnicos’ board, economist José Joaquín Villamil.
The board said labor union representatives declined its invitation to comment.
Finally, the agenda includes a presentation by Prasa officials, followed by board questions about the public corporation’s fiscal situation.
The fiscal board will address the press at noon, after which Gov.-elect Ricardo Rosselló is expected to hold a private meeting with its members. For his part, outgoing governor García Padilla announced he wouldn’t be attending today’s meeting. According to Promesa, the island’s governor is an ex-officio, or non-voting, member of the board.
The board is comprised by Ana Matosantos, Arthur González, Andrew Biggs, Carlos García, José González Carrión III and David Skeel. Former New York Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch represents García Padilla on the board.