A year after PROMESA, we are still in the dark about possible conflicts of interests in the Oversight Board
Espacios Abiertos (Open Spaces) is a nonprofit organization looking to help people and groups act more effectively in political, social and institutional circles. They have worked on covering the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico, and have come out with this detailed report on the transparency issues concerning the members of the board. Namely, certain members are failing to file reports that could detail potential conflicts of interests. The article is in Spanish, but it provides clear graphics outlining who has filed reports, and includes a comprehensive timeline of groups seeking to uphold the transparency requirements.
The Oversight Board is not complying with PROMESA. Section 109 of the law is very specific on the ethics subject, conflicts of interest and the disclosure of financial interests. This disposition of the law applies to all memebrs of the board and all of its employees.
Not all members have fully complied with the disclosure of information required by the forms, and worse still, even in the case of the filed reports, the information provided is not enough to know if there is a conflict of interest, and whether any member or employees is unduly benefitting from their position.
Initial Report August 30, 2017
Through the charts provided, it seems clear some officials, like the governor’s representative, might not believe the filing requirements apply to them. However, given the findings in this report, we are still presented with a troubling lack of transparency from a government organism that by its very nature is also not democratic and has been imposed by the federal government.