Sunday, September 15, 2019

Puerto Rico gov’t releases audited fiscal 2016 statement

By on May 6, 2019

Puerto Rico Capitol (CB file)

Statements for fiscal 2017 expected ‘between September and October, while data for 2018 will be handed over’ to fiscal board by March

SAN JUAN – The Puerto Rican government released Monday its audited financial statement for fiscal year 2016, as required by the island’s Fiscal Oversight and Management Board.

Treasury Secretary Raúl Maldonado said the “catastrophic events the island faced in 2017 and its effects on the Treasury’s IT infrastructure were major challenges in the process,” according to release issued by the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration.

The executive agency explained that as the debt restructuring proceedings under Title III of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act (Promesa) progressed and agreements were reached, the government’s projections “had to be reworked as a result, further delaying” their completion.

“In fiscal year 2016, Puerto Rico’s revenue versus expenditures saw a difference of $2.5 billion. Meanwhile, sales tax revenue increased,” the release reads.

The government’s “accumulated deficit stood at $70.3 billion, primarily as a result of debt accrued by public servants’ retirement programs. These programs have a combined debt of $42 billion, which is the total amount of funds the government’s retirement plans should have if it were to pay its responsibilities in full,” it further says.

The government said Treasury expects to release the audited statements for fiscal 2017 “between September and October, while data for 2018 will be handed over to the Oversight Board by March next year.”

“In keeping with our promise of transparency and to ensure accountability, we are working towards complying with any and all requirements set forth by Congress. In the coming months and years, we will continue to deliver the government’s financial statement as we strive to generate savings that will ensure a healthy economy for the benefit of all Puerto Ricans,” Public Affairs Secretary Anthony Maceira said.

“Healthcare, education and safety are priorities for us,” Maldonado was quoted as stressing in the release, adding, “This is not negotiable.”

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