• The Star Staff

Pierluisi says P3 creation processes will be ‘transparent’

By The Star Staff

Governor-elect Pedro Pierluisi said Monday he will make the process leading to the creation of public-private partnerships (P3s) a transparent one.

“The people should be informed and the media should be informed throughout the entire process,” he said at a news conference to announce his latest cabinet appointments.

Right now, the process leading to a public-private partnership is a confidential one. The name of the private firm or entity involved in the public-private partnership is unveiled after the contract for such a partnership is signed. The public is excluded from the process.

Pierluisi said his government platform includes the creation of P3s for certain projects because they have yielded positive results.

He noted successes in the P3 projects for the management of Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, for the PR-22 and PR-5 expressways and the Teodoro Moscoso Bridge.

“You can see a difference between those roads and the rest,” he said.

Pierluisi plans to give a second look to the public-private partnership between LUMA Energy and the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority for the management of the utility’s transmission and distribution system. The contract has been criticized in part because it was approved behind closed doors.

“I support it but I want to make sure it complies with the energy transformation law,” he said.

There is a P3 proposal to manage regional airports but Pierluisi said he does not want private operators to dilute the importance of those airports.

“I do not dismiss using P3s with a lot of judgment if they can prove that they can do the job more cost effectively than the public sector,” he said. “The important thing is for the process to be transparent and for each P3 to be cost effective.”

Pierluisi said his support for P3s is not meant to diminish public workers. He said he opposes the use of external firms to do jobs that can be done by public workers.

“It is just that in certain areas, the private sector can do the job more cost effectively,” he said.

Most of the current P3 projects will be completed by the Pierluisi administration. The P3 Authority is working on a P3 project to rebuild piers around San Juan Bay and at least five proposals for public-private partnerships in the energy sector, including one to rebuild hydroelectric power plants and battery storage facilities.

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