Newsletter – February 2024

Oversight Board Holds its 43rd Public Board Meeting

Members of the Oversight Board held their 43rd Public Board Meeting on February 28, 2024, with a focus on Puerto Rico’s current fiscal position and the timeline for the budget for the coming fiscal year 2025.
Oversight Board Executive Director Robert F. Mujica, Jr., shared important information contained within the Oversight Board’s second quarterly financial report for the current fiscal year.
“Together we must continue to make Puerto Rico’s economy more competitive, and carefully consider the risks sustainable fiscal stability still faces,” said Mujica. “Those risks are outlined in the financial report.”
Click here to listen to Mujica’s remarks.
Mujica also offered details on the partial implementation of the Act 80 early retirement program and the continued focus on the implementation of reforms that aim to improve economic growth for the island and improve quality of life for residents, such as reforming the inventory tax.
Click here to view the Public Board Meeting in its entirety.

Do You Have Questions About the Proposed Legacy Charge Within the PREPA Plan of Adjustment? Find More Information on the Oversight Board’s website

In the days before the confirmation hearings for the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) Plan of Adjustment (POA), which began on March 4, the Oversight Board published key facts about the proposed Legacy Charge. The Plan of Adjustment will reduce the amount of PREPA’s debt by about 80%, from over $10 billion to the equivalent of $2.5 billion. The Plan proposes a Legacy Charge to repay the substantially reduced debt.
The Legacy Charge fact sheet offers answers to questions about how much businesses and households will pay if the plan is confirmed and the legacy charge is approved, including specific details that break down the possible charges based on customer income and electricity consumption. The document also includes information on why the legacy charge has been proposed and what debts it would pay off.

Improving Employee Motivation and Experience through the Civil Service Reform at the Department of Education

On February 23, 2024, employees of the Oversight Board and the Secretary of Education, Yanira Raíces, gathered with over 350 Department of Education employees from central and regional offices to announce the implementation of the Civil Service Reform, an Oversight Board led initiative, in the public school system. The reform is being implemented in phases, beginning with the administrative staff at the Department of Education.
“I think it is a great idea and we are hoping for the best for public employees and for the proper functioning of the department because, above all, children must come first,” said Mayra Irizarry, a Department of Education employee who was present at the town hall meeting where the Department and the Oversight Board made the announcement.
The Civil Service Reform has been implemented successfully at other Puerto Rico Government entities, and the focus of the initiative within the Department of Education is to establish clearer, updated job descriptions, attract new employees, and provide competitive salaries and training opportunities to employees so they are able to advance their careers.
“The Reform seeks not only to provide competitive salaries now, but also for employees to be able to grow and have new opportunities and new experiences,” said Arnaldo Cruz, Director of Policy and Research at the Oversight Board.
The Department of Education reached out to the Oversight Board to request that the agency be included in the Civil Service Reform, in the hopes of improving employee experiences and motivation to transform the department and offer improved services to students in Puerto Rico’s public school system.

Hundreds of Government Employees are One Step Closer to Retirement through the Partial Implementation of Act 80

The Puerto Rico Government and the Oversight Board filed the final stipulation defining the conditions for the partial implementation of the Act 80 early retirement program for certain non-essential government employees.
As part of the process, 1,130 positions at 49 government entities have been identified as positions that can be permanently eliminated, allowing these workers to voluntarily take early retirement. The initiative will generate millions of dollars in payroll savings for the Puerto Rico Government.

Engagement with Stakeholders:

February 9, 2024

Oversight Board Executive Director Robert Mujica participated in a presentation hosted by the Sor Isolina Ferré Center, as part of the nonprofit’s 55th anniversary. During the event, Center leaders shared the findings of the “Las Comunidades Hablan” (Communities Speak) study, which focused on the needs of the communities that receive the services the Center provides. The Center works with local communities on a variety of social, educational, economic and spiritual programs.

From left to right: President of Convergent Strategies and FOMB Former Board Member, Antonio L. Medina; Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sor Isolina Ferré Center, Luis A. Ferré Rangel; FOMB Executive Director, Robert F. Mujica, Jr.; Executive Director of CSIF, Luis Ortiz; Executive Director of Fundación Kinesis, José Cruz and Managing Partner at Accenture PR, Adrian Bazzini.

February 8, 2024

During a visit to Vega Baja, Oversight Board Executive Director Robert Mujica met with Mayor Marcos Cruz Molina where they discussed how the municipality can collaborate with the Oversight Board to address its resident’s primary needs. The Mayor and Mujica visited the J. Pérez Melón Elderly Center, a public facility that offers services for up to 200 elderly residents, and the Adrián Santos Tirado School of Fine Arts, which provides programs to students from Vega Baja and neighboring municipalities.

February 8, 2024

Oversight Board Executive Director Robert Mujica met with the Puerto Rico Builders Association to continue discussions on the island’s economic challenges, the current state of the infrastructure, investment opportunities, ease of doing business, and economic development. Mujica stressed the importance of strategic investments and the proper use of funds, which will make a positive impact on Puerto Rico’s economic growth.

From left to right: Former President of the Puerto Rico Builders Association, Vanessa DiMari; President of the Puerto Rico Builders Association, Agustín Rojo; FOMB Executive Director, Robert F. Mujica, Jr.; and members of the Puerto Rico Builders Association Board.

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