Four senior officials of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) must appear in court and explain why the public corporation is allegedly refusing to provide two nonprofit organizations with information about the privatization process and the power grid.
That is what San Juan Superior Court Judge Anthony Cuevas ruled. Cuevas -who presided over a follow-up hearing to the "mandamus action" that CAMBIO and the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) filed last May “to obtain information about the electric power utility’s (PREPA’s) system and the ongoing privatization process.”
Astrid Rodríguez (Legal Consultant), engineer Hiram Medero (Chief Strategy and Information Officer), engineer Efran Paredes (Planning and Environmental Protection Director) and Fernando Padilla (Project Management Director) are the four PREPA officials called to appear at a new hearing on September 26, with a follow-up hearing on September 30.
"The Authority is trying to make it appear that there have been misinterpretations in our requests and that they are willing to provide the documents, but that is not the real experience. The real experience has been that we have to insist that the documents do exist for them to provide us those documents. The requests have been clear," said CAMBIO co-founder and president Ingrid Vila.
She added that PREPA "has refused" to provide them with documents that exist - or that should exist - invoking confidentiality clauses that, in her opinion, do not apply. Judge Cuevas ordered CAMBIO and IEEFA to present, on or before next Thursday, a list of the information that PREPA allegedly owes them.
Rodríguez confirmed that the organizations insisted on “stating there is information that PREPA has not provided.” "However, they did not specify what information was missing," she said.
"The court has not expressed any opinion on the issues of privilege and confidentiality raised by PREPA yet," the official said.