March 2, 2021

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ASG Administrator leaves the appointment of Angelo Cruz | government

The administrator of the General Services Administration (ASG), Karla Mercado Rivera, reiterated that her agency did not propose any appointment to the Auction Board.

Governor Wanda Vázquez announced yesterday the appointment of Ceiba Mayor Angelo Cruz Ramos as an associate member of the General Services Administration Auction Board.

But the law establishes that these appointments must have recommendations from other agencies and officials such as the director of the ASG and the Comptroller, Yesmín Valdivieso, as well as organizations such as the College of Certified Public Accountants. The president of the school, Rosa Rodríguez confirmed to this newspaper that in November the ASG requested their recommendations to fill these positions on the Auction Board. She stated that they were referred to the names of the two CPAs interested in the position.

“We discharge the responsibility of sending the names,” he said.

In written statements, Mercado Rivera recalled that his agency has, by law, the power to make one of the five appointments and stated that “as an administrator, I have not submitted a recommendation.

“Apart from submitting the recommendation, I have no other inherence in the appointments of the Bid Board. AAFAF, OIG, Colegio de CPA and the Comptroller are the others called to submit the recommendations to the appointment office of La Fortaleza. ASG had requested that the recommendations be submitted in accordance with Law 73 and those that were received were sent directly to the appointments office, ”he said in written statements.

In August, the mayor of Ceiba lost the primaries to Samuel Rivera, who will be the candidate of the New Progressive Party (PNP) in November. Cruz, who did not return calls from this newspaper yesterday, was one of the first mayors to endorse Vázquez’s aspiration to governor and went so far as to say that he would be his campaign director in the east to bring together mayors and municipal presidents in this region .

The governor made other appointments on Tuesday that have been controversial, such as that of her secretary of Public Affairs, Osvaldo Soto, whom she appointed to the Comptroller’s chair. One of the allegations against Soto is that she does not have the preparation to occupy the position, starting with the fact that she is not an accountant.

From the Comptroller’s Office it was reported that Valdivieso “will not comment” on the appointment of Soto.

“As established by the Constitution, a process is followed where the governor nominates a person to occupy the position of comptroller of Puerto Rico and the Legislature evaluates and approves.”

Soto’s “illegal” designation

For his part, former comptroller Manuel Díaz Saldaña said that Soto’s appointment could imply a breach of one of the laws that govern this office. He explained that Law 243 of 2015 requires that the person who directs this office must comply with the standards of the United States Comptroller’s Office.

“One of those requirements is that the person who is going to direct this institution has to have a specific knowledge of these auditing standards. And, from the background of this person, it is understood that he has not been exposed to this type of work or has done auditing work in his career, “Díaz Saldaña told EL VOCERO. “I think it would be in violation of this requirement of law.”

The CPA College also stated that this position must be filled by a certified public accountant or accountant. Like Díaz Saldaña, Rodríguez said they have no reservations with Soto as a professional, but with the fact that he is not a CPA.

“A CPA is the professional best prepared to perform the position,” he stated.

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