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Seventh Puerto Rico Anti-Corruption Summit slated for Nov. 3

By on August 29, 2017

SAN JUAN – After a meeting with the Interagency Anticorruption Group, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló announced that the seventh Anticorruption Summit will take place Nov. 3 in the Police Academy in Gurabo.

The purpose of this event is to raise awareness about the crimes that are considered government corruption, while strengthening the fight against its practice during the group’s seventh year.

“It is important that all public servants understand that this Government is committed to preventing corruption and will prosecute anyone who betrays the trust the people put in us. In that sense, it is important that all relevant agencies collaborate toward this common goal and work as a team to prevent and prosecute any act of corruption,” the governor said at a press conference in La Fortaleza.

Gov. Ricardo Rosselló announced that the Interagency Anticorruption Group will hold its seventh summit to educate about the implications of engaging in corruption. (Courtesy)

The director of the Government Ethics Office (GEO), Zulma Rosario, who has led the interagency group for seven years, said the focus this year will be the fight against corruption and workshops about the administrative and procedural scope for these cases will be offered. She added that the initiative is “shrinking” the “modus operandi” of corrupt officials on the island.

Meanwhile, FBI Director Douglas Leff declared that “the level of corruption in Puerto Rico is very high,” which is why it is important to have groups like these, which have a “great potential” to solve these cases. He added that FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C. are “very impressed” with the group’s efforts.

The governor said that during Monday’s meeting they discussed part of the bill that his administration will present for approval of the Anticorruption Code for the New Puerto Rico.

“It is a measure aimed at solving gaps…between laws and facilitate access and understanding of the regulations applicable to each. It will also seek to expand protection against retaliation for anyone who reports acts of government corruption,” the governor said.

When asked by Caribbean Business  what exactly should be clarified in the law, the governor simply said that eventually they will discuss the whole measure when they have the input of all the interagency group members.

The governor expressed interest in converting into law the initiative of the Interagency Anticorruption Group, which comprises state and federal entities. The new law would create the Corruption Prevention and Elimination Committee, which would increase the number of participating members.

The meeting was attended by Justice Secretary Wanda Vázquez, Comptroller Yesmín M. Valdivieso and Treasury Secretary Raúl Maldonado. Also present were Police Superintendent Michelle Hernández and Ismael Colón Birriel, member of the Special Independent Prosecutors Panel. U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez excused herself from Monday’s meeting.

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