Puerto Rico Private Sector Coalition condemns corruption
Calls for corrective action in light of federal indictments
SAN JUAN – Members of the Private Sector Coalition of Puerto Rico condemned the arrests of former officials and collaborators of the administration of Gov. Ricardo Rosselló and requested an immediate corrective action plan.
Spokespeople of the coalition, which is made up of numerous business leaders, said in a statement that “the fact that it is not the first time” the current government “is the object of accusations of corruption, makes it more urgent to take different actions that change the vicious cycle that occurs every four years.”
Saying that corruption is not a partisan political issue and requires a multisectoral effort to eradicate it, the leaders agreed that a “holistic plan be implemented to eradicate the evil of corruption in our society.”
They recommended work be carried out on “management systems of prevention, education and training both in the private sector and in the public so that there is transparency in government processes and contracting,” adding that starting “more participatory government processes with the private sector and civil society, seeking effective solutions to the failure of the current system against corruption” is urgent.
Referring to last week’s indictments of the former heads of the Education Department and Health Insurance Administration, who allegedly facilitated government contracts to unqualified contractors, the coalition said: These acts adversely affect the perception before the world of our capacity as a Country to manage public funds efficiently and with the transparency required by laws and morality.”
The coalition’s statement stresses the “need to put into effect processes that guarantee transparency in all the processes of granting and monitoring contracts in the government, both at the state level and at the municipal level, agencies and in the legislative and judicial branches,” and said the group is available to collaborate in those efforts.
“Any public servant who engages in conduct that violates the law or morals must be dismissed. The mere appearance or suspicion that an illegal or immoral act has been committed has disastrous effects on the country and on the perception of the world,” the group reiterated.
“Puerto Rico is still in the process of recovering from one of the most severe natural catastrophes in its history and needs to drive economic development with local and foreign capital. That is why the Coalition believes an evaluation of all the government framework and that the necessary changes are made” urgently to focus on the island’s recovery, the group stressed.
The coalition is made up of various entities, including Puerto Rico’s Manufacturers, Farmers and Builders associations; chapter of the Associated General Contractors; Real Estate Brokers and Sellers Alliance; Chamber of Commerce; CPA Society; Engineers & Land Surveyors Association (CIAPR); the Business Council of Latin America (CEAL); the United Automobile Importers Group (GUÍA); Society of Architects & Landscape Architects; the Association of Automobile Distributors (PRADA); the Chamber of Commerce of the South; Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM); the Pharmaceutical Industry Association (PIA); the Puerto Rico Hotel & Tourism Association; and Puerto Rico 3000.