CVM candidate goes to court to force Senate president to make staff salaries public
By The Star Staff
In a new attempt to demand transparency from Puerto Rico’s legislative bodies, Eva Prados Rodríguez, the San Juan District 3 candidate for the House of Representatives under the Citizen Victory Movement (CVM) banner, went to court Tuesday to force Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz to update his staff roster and make the list of salaries public.
As she did with the House of Representatives, Prados Rodríguez said in a statement that she sent a letter asking the Senate over 30 days ago to publish the salaries of the upper chamber’s employees on its website, but as of Tuesday the request has not been answered, in violation of the Law for Transparency and Expedited Procedure for Access to Public Information (Act 141-2019), which provides 10 working days to provide an answer. Given the lack of response, the candidate decided to file a request for a mandamus so that the constitutional right of citizens to have access to the requested information is respected and validated.
“Senate employees’ salaries are public information that must be accessible for the people to evaluate how public funds are used by the Legislature,” Prados Rodríguez said. “This is information that must be kept and updated on the web pages of both [legislative] bodies.”
She noted that, unlike the House of Representatives, the Senate maintains an outdated list of its staff on its website that does not indicate their salaries.
Following her request on Aug. 21, the House of Representatives responded by providing a partial list of employees but did not provide their salaries. The CVM candidate reaffirmed her commitment to normalizing transparency processes in the government as a way to combat corruption and mismanagement of public funds.
“Every day that passes without the people having access to how our public funds are handled in the Legislative Assembly is a day we lose in the fight against corruption,” Prados Rodríguez said. “Don’t wait to get to the Legislature to promote transparent government. I do this as a person who believes that the government must be open and its efforts must be supervised by the citizens, without so many obstacles. This information must always be accessible to the public.”