PDP lawmakers: PRITS chief awarded juicy contract to crony

By John McPhaul

Popular Democratic Party (PDP) Secretary General Ramón Luis Cruz Burgos, along with fellow PDP Rep. Domingo Torres and PDP Sen. Marially González, denounced on Wednesday the awarding of a contract of almost $1 million by the office of Puerto Rico Innovation and Technology Service (PRITS) Director Enrique Völckers Nin to the company of his former partner Juan Aguiar to establish the IDEAL System, one of the main technological programs promoted by Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia.

“We urge the governor to withdraw this appointment immediately,” the legislators said at a press conference. “Clearly this process was an irregular one in which Völkers Nin, as director of PRITS, benefited his former partner with this million-dollar contract. The creation of a corporation two days after the Völkers Nin nomination is no coincidence, and it is less of a coincidence that the largest PRITS contract is worth around $200,000 per month for this company. Once again we see how those close to a candidate’s political campaign raise public funds in a questionable way. We look forward to prompt action on the part of Gov. Pierluisi withdrawing the nomination.”

The legislators noted that Völkers Nin and Aguiar were partners in Tercer Piso, a company that led advertising and digital strategies during Pierluisi’s electoral campaign. However, three days after Völkers Nin was appointed by the governor, Aguiar incorporated the company Code Dog Technology Group, which was awarded the IDEAL System contract. Völkers Nin was appointed on Dec. 10, 2020, and Aguiar’s company was created on Dec. 13, they said.

At the same time that they asked the governor to withdraw the appointment of Völkers Nin, the trio announced the filing of a legislative investigation resolution and a request for an investigation by the island Department of Justice.

Likewise, on behalf of the PDP they requested that the Government Ethics Office and the commonwealth comptroller investigate the transaction and granting of the contract to Code Dog Technology Group, which, they noted, is barely three months old and does not have any work experience.

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