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Improving Government Operations While Creating a High-Performance Workforce Part II

Since 2020, 170 students from the University of Puerto Rico’s faculties of Law, Business Administration, Social Sciences and Humanities help reduce the backlog in the Puerto Rico Department of Justice’s Property Registry Office, resolving over 400,000 backlog cases. Now the Oversight Board approved UPR’s request to allocate an additional $8 million to this successful program, allowing 115 students from the eleven UPR campuses to be recruited. The selected students will work in different modalities, in person or through telecommuting, from October 17, 2022, to June 30, 2023. During the school term, the students will be able to work up to 20 hours per week and in the summer 37.5 hours per week. At an hourly wage starting at $15, student’s responsibilities include the inscription of property documents, analysis of other official forms, such as the cancellation of mortgage deeds, declaration of heirs, as well as estimating the cost of internal

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FOMB approved 13 emergency tax measures

To ease some of the hardship Hurricane Fiona caused tax filers in Puerto Rico, the Financial Oversight and Management Board approved, with observations, the Puerto Rico Department of Treasury’s (Hacienda) proposal to extend several tax filing deadlines and other tax administrative measures to allow individual and commercial taxpayers more time to comply with their tax responsibilities, and aid and expedite the recovery. The filing of all income tax returns, requests for extensions, and tax payment corresponding to the tax returns that are originally due within the period of September 30, 2022 through December 14, 2022 are extended to December 15. In addition, all taxpayers directly affected by the hurricane, and who for that reason fail to comply with any term of their payment plan with the Puerto Rico Department of Treasury, will be able to request a new payment plan through SURI until December 31, and collection and seizure notices

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PRASA’s Recipe for Success

The people of Puerto Rico depend on clean and reliable water – for drinking, for cooking, for life. That is why the people depend on a stable water company that can provide clean and reliable water now and in the future. The Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) reached important milestones, leading to improved water and wastewater services for residents and businesses alike. Working hand in hand with the Oversight Board, PRASA has focused on overcoming its fiscal challenges and improving its operational performance. During fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2022, PRASA made notable progress in several areas: Rate Adjustments: PRASA implemented modest rate adjustments. The increase of 2.5% for residential customers represent less than a $1 a month – but nonetheless made a difference in PRASA’s budget that will help improve and maintain the water system. The preliminary rate adjustments in PRASA’s Fiscal Plan are expected

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Legislative Review Important for Ensuring Fiscal Responsibility

The legislative review process of the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico is an important component of strengthening and sustaining fiscal responsibility for Puerto Rico. PROMESA requires the Governor to submit each new law to the Oversight Board with a formal estimate of the impact, if any, that the law will have on expenditures and revenues. PROMESA also allows the Legislature to seek preliminary review from the Oversight Board regarding pending legislation to understand how legislative bills are measured against the Certified Fiscal Plan and Certified Budget. Why is this important? To ensure that Puerto Rico does not repeat the mistakes of the past that led to the island’s bankruptcy. During the review process of pending legislation, lawmakers can understand how the bill in question stacks up against the certified Fiscal Plan and budget to ensure that recurring revenues or savings are identified to cover additional expenses. For

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What Comes After Bankruptcy?

The Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico and the Government of Puerto Rico together completed the largest public sector debt restructuring in U.S. history earlier this year. Still, there are plenty more challenges ahead until Puerto Rico firmly turns the stability and predictability provided by the Commonwealth’s Plan of Adjustment into a real and lasting economic growth. Now that the dark cloud of uncertainty and fiscal instability is lifted, the Oversight Board’s priority is to work with the government to institutionalize transparency, accountability, and fiscal responsibility. Debt restructuring is not enough to ensure Puerto Rico’s long-term economic sustainability. The only way to succeed is by achieving a fiscally responsible post-bankruptcy government. To that end, the Oversight Board set the stage for a true and much needed transformation of the way government works through a comprehensive Financial Management Agenda. The implementation of the 12 specific initiatives that encompass the

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Cooperation Leads to Success

David Skeel, Chair of the Financial Oversight and Management Board Fiscal year 2022 was a turning point for Puerto Rico, particularly in stabilizing Puerto Rico’s finances and restructuring significant parts of the debt. Further, the Government and the Oversight Board worked together to begin changing the way government works for generations, showcasing that close cooperation can accomplish many initiatives to improve public services and make government agencies more effective. Important milestones have been achieved to pave the way to renewed economic growth. First, the Title III court confirmed the Plan of Adjustment to reduce the Commonwealth’s debt by 80%, resolving the largest part of Puerto Rico’s enormous debt. This was the largest and most complex public-sector debt restructuring in U.S. history. Second, the budget the Oversight Board certified could prove to be the first truly balanced budget for the central government since Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis began more than a

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