The Supreme Court of the United States on Monday confirmed it will see a case that the Puerto Rico Fiscal Control Board filed regarding an access to public information lawsuit that the Center for Investigative Journalism has won against the entity in all prior court decisions.
During the past years, Puerto Rico has been witnessing a mise en scene in which the Fiscal Control Board says, “We have to cut here” and the government tells the press “I am not going to cut anything.” The net result is that many of the cuts have indeed been made, seen and felt. As when there was a lack of resources in the Institute of Forensic Sciences to process “rape kits,” or when funds were cut from the Women’s Ombudsman Office. There are also less visible cuts that take their toll, as when agency employees have retired and are not replaced to “save money,” and the ones left behind are unprepared and have no references on processes and public services. Several economists have questioned the lack of transparency in the methodology used by the government as well as the Board to draft the economic projections, fiscal plans and budgets. The projections are barely met, the fiscal plans are a fictional exercise that fills the pockets of fancy consultants in the United States. And after fighting to approve budgets, all kinds of reallocations are made, and sometimes, money miraculously appears out of nowhere when there is a crisis that arouses passions in public opinion.
Examiner’s first interim report raises flags over deficiencies in the billing process of attorneys and consultants retained by the Fiscal Control Board, the Government and official committees. The tab for the first five months of the Title III bankruptcy cases amounts to more than $77 million and will be paid with public funds.