Reports Filed By Act 22 Beneficiaries Are Public Records, PR Supreme Court Says

A panel of four Supreme Court justices unanimously rejected last Thursday a petition filed by the Puerto Rico Privacy Association (PRPA), which sought to block the lower court’s decision ordering the disclosure to the Center for Investigative Journalism (CPI, in Spanish) of the annual reports submitted by beneficiaries of the “Act to Promote the Relocation of Investors to Puerto Rico,” or Act 22, a statute that has been part of the Act 60 Incentives Code since 2019. The panel was composed by Associate Justice Rafael Martínez Torres, who presided  it, and Associate Justices Erick Kolthoff Caraballo, Roberto Feliberti Cintrón, and Angel Colón Pérez. The CPI requested the reports, which “resident investors” must submit to the Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC, in Spanish) every year as required by Act 22, since April 2021. These reports break down each beneficiary’s personal and financial circumstances, such as the number of jobs created, the properties acquired, the time spent in Puerto Rico, among other data. The complaint asked for all information not considered personal.