The Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico issued a statement calling for a swift resolution to the island’s current governance crisis so “Puerto Rico can move forward to rebuild trust and to focus government on those it is here to serve.”
“The public outcry by residents of Puerto Rico over the last two weeks reflects a justified crisis of confidence in government institutions. We have watched the protests with admiration for the fortitude of the people of Puerto Rico and with sadness for the crisis that made the protests necessary,” the U.S.-appointed body stated.
With the authority it has been conferred under the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act, the Oversight Board said it will “continue our efforts to restructure Puerto Rico’s debt and to ensure fiscal balance that prioritizes critical needs in the government — including education, health care and public safety.”
In its statement, the Oversight Board deserves “a well-functioning, responsive, sustainable government that operates with integrity and transparency. But for far too long government in Puerto Rico has failed to treat the island’s residents with the respect that they deserve.”
The problems with government in Puerto Rico are not unique to any politician, administration or political party, the body said.
“The responsibility to restore integrity and efficiency to government lies with the elected officials, who must implement civil service and procurement reforms, centralize financial management, increase transparency in the tax credit and incentive system, and improve enforcement of laws that promote transparency and accountability,” it said.
“Most of all, however, elected officials and government employees must understand and accept that their job is to serve the people of Puerto Rico, not insiders, special interests or their own political careers,” the Oversight Board concluded.