DC: The federal oversight board that publicly complained late last month about small Christmas bonuses for Puerto Rico’s government employees is squandering millions of dollars to pay lawyers who charge hundreds of dollars per hour and to hire lobbying firms and public relations firms.
The members of the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico are also paid lavish salaries.
Taxpayers in Puerto Rico are directly paying the salaries for oversight board employees. Puerto Rican taxpayers are also directly funding the entire $60 million annual budget for the oversight board, which Congress created in 2016 to manage Puerto Rico’s bankruptcy debt repayment.
In its strongly-worded Nov. 27 letter to Gov. Ricardo A. Rosselló Nevares, the congressionally-mandated board has argued that providing Christmas bonuses of about $600 each to government employees on the storm-ravaged island would increase “the liquidity strain on the Commonwealth” and exhibit “a lack of fiscal discipline.”