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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Acting UPR Medical Sciences chancellor denies contractual illegalities

Acting University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus Chancellor Carlos Ortiz Reyes

By The Star Staff

Carlos Ortiz Reyes, the current acting chancellor of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) Medical Sciences Campus (RCM), on Monday refuted allegations that as a UPR worker he needed a waiver from the Government Ethics Office for his firm, IT Group Solutions, to obtain contracts with the Comprehensive Cancer Center in 2019 and 2020.

A statement sent to the STAR notes that several laws related to the contracting of services do not require a waiver in his case.

For instance, Act 100 of 1956, the Law for the Contracting of Public Workers by the University of Puerto Rico Outside Working Hours, does not require such a waiver because Ortiz Reyes was not rendering services as an individual as the contract was with IT Group Solutions.

Article 2 of Act 100, meanwhile, authorizes government entities to contract services from any person in the UPR.

The statement said the Government Ethics Law, Act 1 of 2012, does not require the waiver because Ortiz Reyes does not work in the Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC).

“The CCC is created as a corporation separate from the University of Puerto Rico,” the statement said, quoting Act 230 of 2004.

Nor was Ortiz Reyes required to obtain a waiver under Act 237 of 2004, the Professional Services Contracting Law, because it is a law that applies to individuals rather than to corporations. While the law contains a provision requiring a contract for services to have a clause stating that a contractor is not receiving payment for services rendered for another government entity, it also notes that it is up to the CCC to ensure contractors comply with the law. However, “regardless, the law does not require a waiver from the contractor because it is a corporation,” the statement said.

Ortiz Reyes’ comments were in response to two complaints, copies of which were obtained by the STAR, that alleged that a company he owns, IT Group Solutions, received two contracts in 2019 and 2020 with the Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC) but that Ortiz Reyes, who was an RCM employee at the time, had failed to get a waiver as required by law. The complaints were filed with the Government Ethics Office and the Commonwealth Comptroller. The identity of the complainant in both cases was not included in the copies of the complaints obtained by the STAR.

Ortiz Reyes is one of three candidates competing to become the RCM chancellor. The UPR governing board is scheduled to vote on a new RCM chancellor today.

Along with Ortiz Reyes, the chancellor candidates are Natalio Izquierdo and Ilka Ríos. UPR President Luis Ferrao Delgado nominated the latter.

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