The Puerto Rico Institute of Culture recently joined the Financial Transparency System with the goal of offering citizens a total breakdown of its investment in resources and operating expenses, beginning in Fiscal 2015.
The system is under the auspices of the Puerto Rico Statistics Institute, which in May urged other government agencies to open their books to show a commitment to improving transparency within the Commonwealth’s operations. At the time, the Statistics Institute opened its books going back to Fiscal 2008.
Through the system, citizens can obtain a total breakdown of investments in resources and operations incurred by the two agencies. The information can be searched by type of expenditure or name, finding general data such as the public entity’s total expenditures, to more specific data, such as number of transactions, including salary of the executive director, regular employees, employees of trust, or service supplier, among others.
The Institute of Culture’s data shows most of the major contributions the government makes to promote culture and the arts.
For example, the Fiscal 2016 numbers shows that $1.75 million in funds were allocated to the Puerto Rico Museum of Art, $1.85 million to the Luis Muñoz Marin Foundation, and $1.16 million to the Luis A. Ferré Foundation and the Ponce Museum of Art, among others. Although these funds are channeled through the Institute of Culture, the entity does not manage them, the data showed. Of the $19.45 million budget assigned to the Institute of Culture, only about $4.16 million was used for the agency’s 157-person payroll.
“It takes certain organizational courage to overcome nonexistent obstacles of the past and give way to a culture of openness and transparency in our governance, and to this end we want to extend our deepest congratulations to the Institute of Culture for taking this positive step forward,” Statistics Institute Executive Director Mario Marazzi said.
“For our part, the Statistics Institute will begin affirmative action to seek to incorporate the data from the rest of the government of Puerto Rico,” he added.