The Supreme Court of Puerto Rico determined in an opinion that the Electric Power Authority (PREPA) is obliged to publish all the resolutions of its Governing Board, as part of a controversy for a complaint filed by the Engineering Services International corporation ( ESI).
“The right of access to public information is an inherent principle of every democratic society, so we have been consistent in recognizing its fundamental and constitutional nature,” reads the opinion of Associate Judge Luis F. Estrella Martínez.
For this reason, PREPA must publish the resolutions corresponding to the meetings of its Governing Board held from 2015 to 2017, within a period of three months from the notification of this opinion.
On May 10, 2017, ESI filed a complaint with the Puerto Rico Energy Commission (CEPR) against PREPA in which it alleged that the public corporation had not published certain minutes and minutes of meetings of its Governing Board.
ESI argued that these were public documents that should be disclosed pursuant to the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority Act. Due to the foregoing, ESI requested that the CEPR order the publication of the minutes and minutes in dispute.
PREPA requested the dismissal of the complaint on the grounds that it had already published the requested information. However, ESI amended the complaint in order to clarify that PREPA had the obligation to disclose both the minutes and minutes of the meetings, as well as the final resolutions issued by its Governing Board.
ESI requested the publication of the resolutions issued by PREPA’s Governing Board from 2015 to 2017.
The Supreme Court concluded that the controversial resolutions constitute public information, since they are documents generated in the management of public affairs. Specifically, the resolutions evidence the “formal decisions, as well as the actions taken” by the Governing Board that manages the operations of PREPA, which is a public corporation.
The Presiding Judge Maite Oronoz Rodríguez, as well as associate judges Rafael Martínez Torres, Erick Kolthoff Caraballo, Ángel Colón Pérez and Mildred G. Pabón Charneco were in agreement with the decision. Associate judges Anabelle Rodríguez Rodríguez and Edgardo Rivera García concurred without opinion, while Roberto Feliberti Cintrón did not intervene.