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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Comptroller issues report on fiscal operations of Senate

By The Star Staff

The Comptroller of Puerto Rico issued a qualified opinion on the fiscal operations of the island Senate, in which it reported that the Senate improperly paid $74,908 for the medical plan to 10 of the 15 officers who served as escorts to then-Senate presidents from 2013 to 2018.

The officers already had a paid medical plan through the Police Bureau for $19,000. In this regard, the Senate acted contrary to the Political Code of Puerto Rico by compensating officers in an extraordinary manner by paying for their medical plan without legal authority to do so.

A qualified opinion is issued when an individual or aggregate noncompliances are significant, but not pervasive.

Meanwhile, an audit of six findings notes, from a sample, found that 46% of Senate employees in supervisory positions accrued and used compensatory time to which they were not entitled. This payment of $2,265, for the period from 2013 to 2018 is null and contrary to current regulations, according to the qualified opinion.

The auditors also identified that, of the total purchases of $376,921 between 2013 and 2020, 20% corresponded to extravagant, excessive and unnecessary expenses, such as a sofa for $2,545, two chandeliers for $1,200 each, a console table for $870 requested by the staff of a former legislator, and two laptops for $9,106 for the Office of the President in 2016. In addition, the Senate purchased 225 red shirts for registered participants in a sporting event.

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