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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

PRIDCO has failed to collect millions in outstanding rent


A comptroller’s report reveals that as of Feb. 28, 2022, the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company, now called the Trade and Export Program under the Department of Economic Development and Commerce, had 224 accounts receivables amounting to $16.2 million for warehouse and lot rent, rent payment plans, and rent from former tenants.

By The Star Staff


The Puerto Rico Industrial Development and Commerce Company (PRIDCO) has done little to collect rent from its properties.


The Office of the Comptroller issued an opinion on PRIDCO, now known as the Trade and Export Program of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC by its Spanish acronym), following a reorganization mandated by a 2018 law.


The report reveals that as of Feb. 28, 2022, PRIDCO had 224 accounts receivables amounting to $16.2 million for warehouse and lot rent, rent payment plans, and rent from former tenants. A sample of the accounts examined revealed that 200 accounts were delinquent for up to six months, for $14.8 million.


The auditors found that PRIDCO had yet to make any efforts to collect an overdue invoice for $17,136 that had been delinquent for 15 months. In addition, the first collection process from the Treasury Office, corresponding to 54 outstanding invoices in six income accounts for $1 million, was recorded with delays of up to 17 months. The same office had also yet to carry out collection efforts on the rent of two former tenants for $1.5 million.


The situation is attributed to the fact that, in February 2022, the transfer of information from the Great Plains system used by PRIDCO to the DDEC financial accounting system had not been completed. For those purposes, the DDEC needed the uncollected economic resources to meet its operational and administrative expenses.


The audit of two findings indicates that the DDEC did not credit payments of $936,948 from 50 tenants. According to the chief financial officer, those payments had not been credited due to a lack of personnel, and because the official needed to confirm the information contained in the balance sheets.


The report recommends that the DDEC secretary ensure that effective and timely collection efforts are carried out, that the provisions established in the agency’s collection procedure are complied with, and that the necessary personnel be assigned to work on tenants’ accounts.

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