Fiscal board to governor: Provision in EO should have first been submitted for review
By The Star Staff
The Financial Oversight and Management Board has scolded Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia over an executive order issued on June 7 that establishes, among other things, an expedited procurement process for reconstruction projects that use federal funds.
After reviewing the executive order and additional information provided by the governor’s office, the oversight board designated it as “Approved with Observations” in a letter dated July 1.
The observations relate to the executive order’s provision allowing agencies to develop their own procurement process for reconstruction projects when, at their discretion, the alternatives established in the executive order are not convenient.
The executive order says any agency interested in developing its own procurement processes for reconstruction projects must request a waiver from the Puerto Rico Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which will develop uniform guidelines establishing the application process, evaluation criteria and waiver authorization.
The oversight board requested that the OMB submit the guidelines for review and approval prior to issuance to ensure that they are not inconsistent with the Certified Fiscal Plan.
“Additionally, we reiterate that, pursuant to the Oversight Board’s Rules, Regulations and Orders Review Policy, executive orders must be submitted to the Oversight Board in English prior to issuance in order for the Oversight Board to conduct its review as mandated by PROMESA [the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act],” the board said.
The oversight board’s review is solely limited to the executive order’s compliance with the applicable fiscal plan and budget, and no other matters.
“Any material changes to the Executive Order must be submitted to the Oversight Board for its review and approval prior to adoption and publication,” the board told the governor. “This review was conducted on the basis of information submitted by your office. The Oversight Board has not independently verified the information included in the submission. Should the Oversight Board become aware of any inaccuracies or misrepresentations – whether intentional or not – it would re-evaluate its assessment.”