Letter to Fiscal Oversight Board regarding Fiscal Plan
Published on November 15, 2016
Dear Mr. Carrión:
I am writing on behalf of the Center for a New Economy (“CNE”), a Puerto Rico, non-partisan, not-for-profit, independent think tank, to convey our analysis of the Fiscal Plan presented by the government of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico on October 14, 2016 (the “Fiscal Plan”), pursuant to the formal Invitation to Comment issued by the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico (the “FOB”), which you preside. We thank you and the FOB for this opportunity to present our analysis and comments on the Fiscal Plan.
Section 201 of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (the “Act”) 1 compels the Government of Puerto Rico to present a fiscal plan in accordance with the requirements set forth therein. The list of requirements is long and entails the careful analysis and consideration of several economic, fiscal, financial, and public policy variables that will affect and have a material impact on the lives of thousands of Puerto Ricans.
Therefore, while we appreciate the opportunity to present our analysis and commend the FOB’s efforts to reach out to the population at-large for comments and input with respect to the Fiscal Plan, we believe the medium chosen, essentially a four-page, eight-question survey, is inadequate and unsuitable for properly executing this task in a thoughtful and thorough manner. Fiscal policy is too complicated to be analyzed by answering a simple questionnaire. That is why we have decided to submit our comments in written form.
In this letter we will (1) present the principles we believe should govern the preparation of any fiscal plan for Puerto Rico; (2) detail our concerns with the current version of the Fiscal Plan; and (3) conclude with some recommendations for the FOB.