Thursday, September 19, 2019

Puerto Rico fiscal board again requests audited statements

By on April 10, 2019

Chief Financial Officer and Treasury Secretary Raúl Maldonado (CB file)

Gov’t has yet to provide statements from fiscal 2016; CFO asked to respond by Friday

SAN JUAN – On Wednesday, Puerto Rico’s Financial Oversight and Management Board reminded Chief Financial Officer Raúl Maldonado for a fourth time about the need for the government’s completion of audited financial statements.

The fiscal board’s executive director, Natalie Jaresko, said her panel understood there were two unresolved issues that held up the fiscal year 2016 audit in accordance with Maldonado’s own forecast date of issuance, March 31, 2019.

“Given the ongoing delay and the need to complete this and the FY17 [fiscal year 2017] and FY 18 audits to be able to begin the FY19 audit on a timely basis and deliver it within 180 days of the end of the fiscal year based on best practices, please inform us of the path and days to completion of the FY16, i.e. when will the two issues be resolved or if not resolved, taken into account as is, so the FY16 audit can be completed, if need be with appropriate qualifications,” she wrote.

Creditors have been pressuring the government to release the audited statements, the unavailability of which is the leading reason Puerto Rico is accused of a lack of transparency.

Jaresko asked for the policy instituted to close the books for fiscal 2019 and the document preparation calendar for fiscal 2019 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report preparation.

“Completion of the overdue audits and implementing a process that will ensure best practices in issuance of the audited financial statements going forward is a critical element of fiscal responsibility. We ask that you provide a response and status update to our letter by Friday, April 12, 2019,” she wrote.

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