Given the postponement of the electoral primaries last Sunday, the Fiscal Control Board approved to the State Elections Commission (CEE) the use of $ 1.27 million so that they can complete the voting process interrupted by a delay in the ballots.
The approval of the board was given in response to a request from the Office of Management and Budget (OGP) for the organization to give the green light to an intergovernmental transfer that would allow it to pay for a second electoral round.
The director of the fiscal entity, Natalie Jaresko, assured through written statements that the approved amount does not interfere with the government budget approved for this fiscal year and stressed that efficiency in the use of the approved funds is vital.
“The board is committed to a democratic electoral process and with the rights of each individual within this process. It has ensured to date that the electoral process is fully funded, "commented Jaresko.
" Efficiency in the use of funds in this effort is essential. Resources can be diverted from other budgetary priorities only to guarantee an efficient electoral process ”, added the director.
The body had distanced itself from the failed primarista process after assuring last Sunday that the EEC had the necessary funds for the electoral process will work perfectly.
“This is not a problem of lack of funds. The board approved all the requests for funds from the State Elections Commission that included the required information, including the suppliers' quotes, ”the board mentioned after the failed process.
The fiscal board detailed that the CEE has a budgetary authorization for expenditures of $ 42.6 million in the current budget, which includes $ 9 million from last fiscal year that was not spent. For the last budget, they had $ 36.5 million.
In addition, the agency noted that Puerto Rico received $ 2.2 billion from the federal government for eligible expenses related to the coronavirus (Covid-19), which should be available to offset any related costs with the management of the electoral process during the pandemic.
“The board has ensured that the State Elections Commission has all the resources it needs to guarantee safe and efficient elections. This agency has enough money and has more than the personnel necessary to carry out the only task that corresponds to it ”, he pointed out.
Despite approving the additional money, the board pointed out that the CEE has a permanent staff of 656 people, “Considerably more than what is required by the law of Puerto Rico,” for which reason it condemns the pitfalls in the agency's work