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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Governor rejects fiscal board assertion that gov’t hasn’t held up its end

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi

By The Star Staff

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia on Wednesday refuted claims from the Financial Oversight and Management Board that the government’s neglect is forcing the board to inform the Title III Bankruptcy Court that no consensus was reached on Act 80, an early retirement program for public workers.

Pierluisi in an open letter published in social media said the oversight board has always wanted to get rid of Act 80. “It is false that the government has not complied with what was required on this topic,” the governor said. “We have provided the board with all required information but they continue to object to proposals and estimates from the government.”

As first published by the STAR on Monday, the oversight board told the island government recently not to implement Act 80 after the government failed to provide complete information for an analysis after four months of endeavoring to reach an agreement consistent with court orders.

Act 80 and two other proposed retirement laws were the target of court processes because the oversight board successfully nullified them. On Dec. 28, 2021, the Title III Bankruptcy Court entered an order that provides a process for exploring whether Act 80 could be salvaged, by agreement, to achieve real cost savings above and beyond the savings already required by the certified Fiscal Plan.

Oversight board counsel Jaime A. El Koury said the government had failed to provide the information and analysis necessary to conclude whether Act 80 could actually generate savings.

Accordingly, he said, the oversight board was going to inform the Title III Court that the board and the government have attempted to reach an agreement without success.

“The effort has been futile,” El Koury told Nelson Pérez Méndez, deputy executive director of the Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority, in writing on May 6. “The order required the government to engage in the fiscally responsible exercise of determining the actual cost of implementing Act 80 and to identify, if possible, savings above and beyond the savings required in the Fiscal Plan.”

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