Comptroller: 47% of Senate contracts have no description of services offered

By John McPhaul

Puerto Rico’s comptroller issued a qualified opinion on the fiscal operations of the island Senate on Wednesday related to professional and advisory services contracts, finding that 47 percent of invoices paid for professional and consulting services contracts did not contain a detailed and specific description of services offered by the contractors in the work reports.

In addition, in 23 percent of the invoices evaluated, no document related to the work carried out by the contractors could be located, nor could the Senate provide evidence.

A qualified opinion is issued when individual or joint non-compliances are significant, but not widespread.

The contracted services were related to labor and federal matters, administrative and communication advice, among others. The Senate awarded 1,899 contracts and 604 amendments from 2013 to 2018 for $42,413,901.

The audit of two findings indicates that the services provided by three contractors in the government affairs offices of San Juan and Mayagüez, for $144,000, were functions already offered by Senate employees.

The situation is contrary to Regulation 8, Code of Ethics and Parameters for Hiring Professional and Consultative Services of the Senate of Puerto Rico of 2010. A similar situation had been commented on in Audit Report DA-12-80 of June 20, 2012.

This second report from the Senate of Puerto Rico covers the period from Jan. 1, 2013 to Dec. 31, 2018 and is available at

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