Faced with the lack of approval of a fiscal plan by the University of Puerto Rico (UPR, by its Spanish acronym), it will be up to the members of the Oversight Board (OB) to issue the economic rules that the university institution will have to comply for the coming years.
So was confirmed by Gerardo Portela, director of the Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority (FAFAA), in reaction to the rejection by the UPR Governing Board of the fiscal plan that included cuts of up to $241 million, until 2025-2026.
The electronic vote among the members of the professor’s ruling body concluded 5-4.
“FAFAA’s role is limited to that of advising and supporting the UPR in the preparation of its fiscal plan. Should the UPR fail to submit a fiscal plan as per the indications of the OB, then it up to the OB to provide and certify that document,” he said.
For his part, the president of the Governing Board, Carlos Pérez Díaz, said that the vote’s result would be notified to both governor Ricardo Rosselló Nevares and the OB, which granted the UPR until Sunday to submit its fiscal plan.
“The Finance Committee work on a plan for the University to move forward, with the fiscal conditions of Puerto Rico. In any case, for next 2017-2018, the reality is that the Government will provide the UPR with $149 million less and we’ll have to make do,” he said.
Meanwhile, Gilberto Domínguez, student advocate to the Board and one of those voting against the plan, said that, even if the economic project for the UPR were approved, it was “highly likely” that the OB would reject it because it would be in conflict with the forecasts in the Governor’s certified fiscal plan. The Government’s plan called for cutbacks for the UPR totaling $450 million.
“The governor balanced the treasury with the cuts to the university,” he criticized, while saying, also, that the university’s autonomy had been violated by the imposition, from the Executive, of the total amount of cutbacks.
The referendum held in the Governing Board of the UPR took place electronically in view of the incidents occurred the day before yesterday during the body’s regular meeting. Then, a group of students broke into the meeting where a draft of the fiscal plan was being discussed and demanded, with shouts, from acting president, Nivia Fernández, to sign some “agreement” that focused on zero cuts to the university institution and in favor of a public audit.
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