I haven’t had much news to post on Puerto Rico recently, largely because the media has lost interest in the place with the 2018 elections over. The pace of news from the island has slowed to a crawl.
However, this tweet from the official Twitter account of the Federal Oversight and Management Board (who knew they even had a Twitter account?) came to my attention the other day:
[Letter/Carta] To Secretary Maldonado Gautier and Secretary Fuentes Marimón Re: completion of audited Basic Financial Statements / Al secretario Maldonado Gautier y la secretaria Fuentes Marimón sobre los estados financieros básicos auditados. https://t.co/Lxl7UqjpGu pic.twitter.com/p44IikRmLW
— Financial Oversight & Mgmt Board for Puerto Rico (@FOMBPR) January 9, 2019
The letter is from Natalie Jaresko, the Executive Director of the control board, written to Puerto Rico’s Chief of Staff and Secretary of the Treasury. I’ve excepted the relevant portion:
Dear Secretary Maldonado Gautier and Secretary Fuentes Marimon,
The Oversight Board is deeply concerned about the continued delays in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico’s completion of its audited Basic Financial Statements and Required Supplementary Information.
On April 30, 2018, the Oversight Board asked that you provide a timetable for the issuance of the audited financial statements for FY2015, FY 2016, and FY 2017 respectively. On May 7, 2018, you provided the following estimated dates for completion of the audited financial statements: FY2015 by June 8, 2018; FY2016 by August 17, 2018; and FY 2017 by December 31, 2018. While the FY 2016 audit was completed in June 2018, both the FY2016 and FY2017 audit remain outstanding, despite your May 7, 2018 letter projecting that both would be completed by now.
The remainder of the letter goes on to demand an explanation for the delay, demand specific dates when the control board can expect the financial statements to be released, and request a list of what still needs to be done to complete the financial statements.
Readers may recall in early 2018, I wrote extensively about corruption in Puerto Rico’s government. They have failed to produce audited financial statements for decades. They are still jerking the US government and the control board around, and refusing to produce accurate financial records, and for a very good reason; this post talks about how the Puerto Rico government was found to have been hiding billions of dollars beyond what they claimed to have.
Where are the authorities on this? Where is the FBI and DoJ? Where is the media? Where is Congress? The media spent months pretending to care about the populace of Puerto Rico when the hurricane struck, but because this issue isn’t politically useful to them, they are nowhere to be found.
This kind of outrageous, blatant corruption cannot and should not be allowed to go on in any part of the United States, even if it’s a distant territory.