Private Sector Coalition opposes plan to create public service regulatory board

Written by  //  March 14, 2018  //  General Biz News  //  No comments

Francisco Montalvo

The Private Sector Coalition expressed its opposition to Reorganization Plan No. 8, which proposes creating the Puerto Rico Public Service Regulatory Board. and urged lawmakers to block the plan.

This, to ensure that the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority will continue to be monitored by independent professionals, which it is essential for the island’s economic revitalization and future access to capital markets.

The plan deals with the reorganization and consolidation of the Telecommunications Regulatory Board, the Public Service Commission, the Energy Commission, the Puerto Rico Energy Administration, and the Independent Consumer Protection Office into a new agency to be known as the Puerto Rico Public Service Regulatory Board.

In a letter sent to the heads of the Puerto Rico House and Senate, Francisco Montalvo, coordinator of the nonprofit, said the proposed plan “seriously threatens the future of Puerto Rico by eliminating the Energy Commission, an agency explicitly recognized by Congress and validated in the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA.)”

The Coalition noted that Reorganization Plan No. 8 does not address the concerns raised against the first version of the plan, known as Reorganization Plan No. 5. The plan also affects the regulator’s independence, agility, and the ability to attract the best talent. Meanwhile, the group stated there are no public hearings scheduled that consider the private sector’s opinion, which reduces the transparency and credibility of the process.

Furthermore, the group stated that the plan lacks cost-savings measures. On the contrary, it increases the Energy Commission’s members to five, and creates a new “Review Board,” which not only adds more bureaucracy and more expense for the government, but its president will be able to revise decisions, determinations or final decisions, diminishing the Commission’s independence and legitimacy.

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