Senator to Investigate Discrimination Against Puerto Rico Contractors
Editor’s note: The following article originally appeared in the May 10-18, 2018, print issue of Caribbean Business.
New Progressive Party Sen. Miguel Romero may introduce legislation seeking to investigate possible violations of Act 42 of 2018, a law enacted this year that gives local companies preferential treatment in contracting for projects and services.
Romero made his remarks upon learning from Caribbean Business that government agencies are favoring foreign companies over local ones. The law states that at least 20 percent of such contracts should go to local bidders. The federal Stafford Law also promotes local contracting.
The Associated General Contractors Puerto Rico chapter (AGC-P.R.) previously raised concerns in a Caribbean Business report about the problem because most big contracts are going to mainland U.S. companies. The situation is also affecting the telecommunications sector. The group’s president, Stephen Spears, recently complained that the government was also delaying payments to local contractors for projects already completed, at a time when the construction sector appears to be growing to make repairs following the destruction from the 2017 hurricanes.