How Does the Board Spend the $60 Million Paid by Puerto Rico? (document)

Just like José Carrión III had assured, after the Fiscal Control Board (FCB) held its eighth meeting last Friday, the federal entity published its operational budget for FY2017-2018, which adds up to $60,000,000 in contributions from the Puerto Rican government, as well as $8,950 in interest.

See the details below:

On the 5th day of each month, the government of Puerto Rico shall deposit $2,000,000—or an amount equal to half this amount—in the Fiscal Control Board's official account. This money transfer may not be subjected to any local legislative appropriations.

The Board will hire 14 employees for its offices in San Juan and New York.

The Board's third office will be located in Washington DC, which is expected to open during FY2017-2018.

The Board contracts security guards and consulting services for its members, staff, offices, and activities, as well as consulting services for government relations. During this year, they will also contract another entity to handle such matters in the United States.

The budget also includes travel expenses and reimbursements for its members and staff, as well as any future vehicle rental, maintenance, fuel, and related costs for the executive director and her staff.

Employment Conditions:

The Board will hire 14 employees for its offices in San Juan and New York.

Employees will accumulate 10 hours of vacation (15 days per year) and 8 hours of sick leave (12 days per year).

A rate of 6.20% of Social Security will be paid for the first $127,200 of income per employee, as well as 1.45% of Medicare. Employees earning more than $200,000 are required to pay an additional 0.90% for Medicare. According to the Board's forecasts, this amount equals $160,100 payable to the United States Treasury Department.

The Board is exempt from federal unemployment insurance.

The federal entity will pay $486 for Disability Insurance per employee in San Juan—based on the first $9,000 of paid salary—to the Puerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources. This amount will be $74 for employees reporting to the New York office.

Worker compensation for San Juan employees will be $2.05 per $100 of payroll expenses, as established in the Puerto Rico State Insurance Fund Corporation's Classification Manual. As for the New York office, this compensation will be purchased from a private insurance company.

Rent and office expenses:

The monthly cost for the leased space in the World Plaza building in Hato Rey is $3,156.40, which includes water, electricity, basic repairs and maintenance, office cleaning services, air conditioner, and administration fees, among others.  This means that the cost per year could add up to $38,000. The lease contract spans from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018. This contract may be renewed for 1-year periods under the same terms and conditions. The office insurance expenses must be covered by the Board.

The Board's office in the Big Apple is located at 26 Federal Plaza, New York, for which they pay a monthly $8,193.15, for a yearly total of $98,300. This includes electricity, water, air conditioner, janitorial services, and internet access from 7 am to 6 pm—any additional time used will be charged per hour. The Board will need to cover its own telephone service and insurance costs.

The Board has also provided $9,600 to cover web domain and e-mail management costs.

The Board is using the expenses in the New York office as a basis to forecast the expenses for the Washington DC office.

The Board has disclosed their transactions after multiple claims from citizens and government officials, who denounced the lack of transparency from the federal board imposed by PROMESA.



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