Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Puerto Rico Recovery Office demands sworn declaration from contractors

By on August 20, 2019

(Screen capture of (www.recovery.pr)

Must certify not having received any benefits and no cronyism, conflicts of interest exist

SAN JUAN — The new executive director of the Central Office of Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency (COR3), Ottmar Chávez, announced that every contractor and subcontractor must sign a mandatory affidavit to offer services to the office.

COR3 is a division of the Public-Private Partnerships Authority. It works hand in hand with the federal government, to “ensure that the Government of Puerto Rico successfully undertakes reconstruction efforts with efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency, while capitalizing on opportunities to build back in a way that makes Puerto Rico better, stronger, and more resilient,” the entity’s mission statement reads.

“We have begun to send an affidavit to all contractors and subcontractors, which must go with the contract that all professionals offering services to COR3 have to sign. What we seek most is to ensure that the Government of Puerto Rico efficiently and effectively implements recovery and reconstruction efforts, and at the same time capitalizes on the opportunities to rebuild a better, stronger and more resilient Puerto Rico,” the executive director said in a press release issued by his office.

Chávez explained that the affidavit certifies that no gifts or money were received before the granting of the contract and that prior to formalizing the contract no such benefits were negotiated either.

The interests of the contractor “represent COR3 and cannot be lent to do favors to family members of any official or public employee of COR3,” the official said, adding that contractors will have to assure they will not represent an opposing party, nor make payments to any contractor or government employee to keep the contract in force.

In addition, the document makes it clear contractors and subcontractors certify by signing that they will avoid any conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest and that they have not been involved in any guilty plea amid any charges.

“Recovery work continues. Transforming the Island with a vision towards the future by implementing cost-effective solutions using innovative ideas, best practices and revitalizing economic development is one of our objectives. We are focused on working to strengthen and enhance the ability of Puerto Rico to resist and recover from future disasters with responsibility, in a clear and transparent manner,” Chávez added.