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Legislators demand resignation of P3A chief


Representative by accumulation Jose Enrique Meléndez Ortiz/New Progressive Party Sen. Thomas Rivera Schatz

Alejandra M. Jover Tovar

alejandra.jover@gmail.com


Both the New Progressive Party Sen. Thomas Rivera Schatz and the representative by accumulation Jose Enrique Meléndez Ortiz asked Tuesday for the resignation of Fermin Fontanes, executive director of the Authority for Public-Private Partnerships (AAPP by it’s Spanish initials) after he admitted that after 15 months the authority has yet to implement a regulation to evaluate the execution of the concession contract granted to LUMA Energy for the administration of the electricity transmission and distribution network on the island.


“After Fermín Fontanés admissions of non-compliance is the governor satisfied? How can LUMA be audited if it fails to comply with its duties to do so? How can you inform the governor of the fulfillment of LUMA who is failing with his own duties. If an official finds it difficult to explain his role to the House of Representatives, will he really be able to execute what he does not know how to explain?” said Rivera Schatz on social media.


“Puerto Rico deserves a top-notch electrical system. The reality is that the electricity grid is obsolete, developed more than 70 years ago. That is why a series of changes have been implemented focused on improving it. One of the most important was the management of electricity transmission and distribution. The AAPP was the entity that awarded this contract and is the one that was designated for its supervision. The admissions of the Executive Director of that entity in relation to the fact that it is not ready, despite the fact that 15 months have passed, the regulation of compliance with the contract, is an unequivocal sign that he must leave the position,” said Meléndez in a written statement.


Meléndez reiterated his request that the LUMA Energy contract be monitored by engineer Juséu Colón and the Electric Power Authority, as the Port Authority does with Aerostar Holding’s agreement for the management of Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport.


The legislator is, together with the minority leader of the NPP in the Lower House, Carlos “Johnny” Méndez, Rep. Victor Pares Otero, House Speaker Rafael “Tatito” Hernández, as well as PDP Reps. Mariana Nogales, Bernardo Marquez, Luis Raúl Torres, are the authors of House Joint Resolution 349, which seeks to transfer the supervision of the LUMA Energy contract from the AAPP to PREPA


The House of Representatives endorsed the measure, but the president of the Senate Jose Luis Dalmau opposes it and has not brought it to a vote.


The governor said last week that Fontanés has his confidence.


“Really, there are contract issues and operational issues. In the operational part, who supervises is the Energy Bureau and can fine them at any time and has done so. In the part of the contract, it is merely to ensure that the contract is being fulfilled,” the governor said to questions from the press.


When asked if Fontanés Gómez has his confidence, Pierluisi Urrutia replied “I have already said yes, it is a work that continues and will continue.”


“Here you can supervise the Energy Bureau as I just said, Fortaleza itself – and now I have a full-time assistant secretary to oversee the energy sector – in the same way, you can supervise the Authority for Public-Private Partnerships, but there is merely to ensure that what the contract says is being complied with. The House, the Senate and even the Fiscal Board itself, we can all supervise, the mayors and that is what has been happening. But it has reached the point that I demanded changes and now I will be very aware of the changes that are going to be made,” he said.


Pierluisi Urrutia recalled his call that LUMA Energy “is on probation, therefore, the audit has to be greater in a probationary period.”


“It is in LUMA’s interest and it is in the interest of the people of Puerto Rico that their performance is better and that I can say something else, as governor. Right now I’m saying I’m not satisfied, I want that performance to improve. When I improve and feel satisfied I will say it,” he said.


Likewise, the governor said he is waiting for management changes to occur in LUMA, before thinking about submitting new proposals from PPPs to look for a new company to manage the transmission and distribution of electric power.


“All that process I do not want to think about it now, I know exactly what should be done, but for the moment because I have to be responsible, what I am saying is LUMA, improve your performance, I am seeing some changes, but they still do not satisfy me, management is responsible for what happened, so I will be well aware of any managerial changes, “I am still not satisfied, “ the governor said.


The president’s expressions were given during a press conference to announce the construction work of the bridge on the PR-770 highway in the Cañabón neighborhood in Barranquitas.


Pierlusi said that the plan to oversee LUMA (which is still a draft should be made public so that we can “oversee the overseers.”


“No, I do not want accusations from one party to the other, each one who assumes his responsibility and if there is a document that details what each one has to do, for me it is irrelevant that it is a draft. If there is a document that details what each one has to do that comes to light so that we can supervise the inspectors,” the governor said at a press conference.


Pierluisi Urrutia recalled that LUMA Energy “is on probation, therefore, the audit has to be greater in a probationary period.”


“It is in LUMA’s interest and it is in the interest of the people of Puerto Rico that their performance is better and that I can say something else, as governor. Right now I’m saying I’m not satisfied, I want that performance to improve. When it improves and feel satisfied I will say it,” he said.


Likewise, the governor said he is waiting for management changes to occur in LUMA, before thinking about submitting new proposals from PPPs to look for a new company to manage the transmission and distribution of electric power.


“I do not want to think about that process now, I know exactly what should be done, but for the moment because I have to be responsible, what I am saying is LUMA, improve your performance, I am seeing some changes, but they still do not satisfy me, management is responsible for what happened, so I will be well aware of any managerial changes, I am still not satisfied, “ the governor said.


The governor made his statement during a press conference to announce the construction work of the bridge on the PR-770 highway in the Cañabón neighborhood in Barranquitas.

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