In another sign of cooperation between her administration and the Oversight Board, Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced signed two executive orders seeking to improve coordination between the Executive Branch and the federal entity overseeing the island´s public finances.
One of the executive orders establishes the process –in according to PROMESA- for the central government to notify the Board of the approval of new laws, certify the availability of funds and for agencies to request the reallocation of budget items.
While the second executive order establishes how to coordinate the work between the agencies, the Board, and the federal government.
The governor said that it is important to coordinate and centralize all efforts with the federal government so that the government of Puerto Rico can send a unified message to Washington.
In Order 2019-057, Vázquez establishes that the legal framework created by PROMESA recognizes the power of the elected government of Puerto Rico. And added that In that sense, the statute did not have the effect of eliminating the powers of the elected government, but rather calls for collaboration between the government and the Board, to find a way out of the fiscal crisis Puerto Rico is going through.
This document creates the protocol that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority (FAFAA) must follow to notify the Board of the impact if any, that newly created laws may have on the government coffers. It also provides for the director of the OMB to be the only official who can certify the availability of funds in government accounts and instructs public agencies and corporations to coordinate with FAFAA any meeting with the Board, among other requirements.
Order 2019-056 stresses that “this administration has reached certain agreements with the Board and with federal agencies” to speak in a coordinated manner.
This second document, signed Friday, orders all public agencies and corporations that "have work, communications, or pending matters" with the federal government to channel those efforts through the governor's representative to the Board Eli Díaz Atienza. This official, in turn, will coordinate with La Fortaleza and the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration (PRFAA) to carry out the work "in an orderly manner," the document added.
Requests for meetings and visits to the federal government, requests for information, and negotiation of agreements are among the efforts that Díaz Atianza would coordinate according to this executive order. Also, agencies that have contracts with lobbyists must notify the government´s representative to the Board.
El Nuevo Día asked La Fortaleza for information on the agreements the order refers to, but by press time there was no response.