Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló submitted legislative measures to reorganize the Department of Transportation and Public Works, which will generate $13 million in the first year and $142 million in five years, according to the Fiscal Plan.
The DTOP, as the agency is known for its initials in Spanish, will be the umbrella agency for the Traffic Safety Commission, the Integrated Transport Authority (ATI, for its initials in Spanish), the Metropolitan Bus Authority (AMA, in Spanish) and the Maritime Transport Authority (ATM, in Spanish).
“My view has always been that the government must be a facilitator. To this end, our public policy has been to reduce government gigantism and create a more agile and efficient government, guaranteeing services to Puerto Ricans,” said Rosselló.
The consolidation is expected to generate administrative efficiencies, better and dedicated services to citizens and continuity of access to federal funds, maximizing their use, he said.
Through the proposed reorganization, the ATM and AMA will become DTOP programs. ATI, an entity created by law in 2014 that was never implemented, will be consolidated in the DTOP. Finally, the Traffic Safety Commission becomes a division within the DTOP, to safeguard federal funds received by the agency at present.
The governor sent to the Legislature a measure allowing the outsourcing of Farm Insurance Corporation, which would allow it to reach an agreement with the private sector to manage agricultural insurance programs.
“After the passing of Hurricanes Irma and María, and the effect they had on agriculture, agricultural insurance has become more important. Given the government’s fiscal and economic crisis, I believe the private sector is the best alternative to provide farmers with the best coverage to insure their crops,” said Rosselló during a news conference at La Fortaleza.
“In two years, we have reorganized 37 agencies, corporations or programs, with savings projected at $70 million annually. With that, we fulfill the need to reorganize the government contained in the Fiscal Plan,” he said, of the Certified Fiscal Plan of Oct. 23, 2018.
In 2018, the governor signed into law the reorganizations of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce, the Public Service Regulatory Board, the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, the Board of Education and the Model Forest.
In 2017, laws were approved creating the Department of Public Safety and the Office of the Municipal Affairs Commissioner was eliminated.