Espacios Abiertos to publish control board documents
Espacios Abiertos, a nonprofit organization that promotes transparency, announced Tuesday the creation of a website where it will post documents generated or published by the Fiscal Oversight Board.
The organization will monitor whether the documents required by the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) that created the board requires that they be public, confidential or if the text of the law is unclear how they will be handled.
“Given the impact that the Oversight Board will have on the island’s political, social, economic and legal life, it is essential that people have access to any document it generates, receives and keeps,” the nonprofit established in February 2014 stated, adding the new website comes with the #OjoALaJunta hashtag that will be used on social media to inform.
“In Puerto Rico we’re tired of corruption, mismanagement of public property and the lack of accountability of elected and ‘career’ officials,” said Nuria Ortiz-Vargas, executive director of Espacios Abiertos.
“It appears that a sector of the population expects the Oversight Board to do away with all this, but that it’s role. With the powers delegated to the Oversight Board through PROMESA, they can take important decisions — which affect Puerto Rico for generations — in the dark and totally behind Puerto Rico’s back,” she said.
Espacios Abiertos is dedicated to strengthening the capacity of individuals, organizations and communities to act effectively in the political, social and institutional framework, developing projects that promote access to justice, citizen participation, transparency and government accountability.
Among the documents that PROMESA states that are public are:
- The internal regulations adopted by Board members;
- Gifts, inheritances or bequests the Board receives;
- The findings of research on disclosure practices and transactions in relation to the purchase of bonds (if they decide to investigate); and,
- Reports related to critical projects along with their justifications.
Some of the information that is not yet known whether it will be released publicly or when includes:
- Official data from local and federal public agencies that the Board requires to perform its duties.
- The recommendations submitted by the Board to the governor and the Legislature of Puerto Rico on actions to be taken to meet the fiscal plan, promote economic growth, administrative accountability, and efficiency in the delivery of government services.
- The information submitted by each critical project sponsor (agency or private entity) to evaluate any existing, ongoing or proposed project.
“In Puerto Rico we have a constitutional right to access to information, and the Board, as part of the government of Puerto Rico, should make all information public. Espacios Abiertos wants to draw the attention of the public to this and provide a platform for people to report and express themselves about it. The document presented today serves as a framework to be alert to the work and processes that the law states that the Board should do,” said Ortíz-Vargas.