The president of the Senate, José Luis Dalmau, confirmed that they will not consider the appointment of Alexis Torres as secretary of the Department of Public Security (DSP) until amendments are made to this umbrella agency created under the last administration.
Upon leaving a meeting with Governor Pedro Pierluisi, the senatorial president assured that he had already met with Torres, but insisted that he had not corroborated whether or not he has the votes to be confirmed in the Senate. Dalmau confirmed the information published yesterday by THE SPOKESMAN on the doubts with this appointment, when he declared that they will not consider it until the amendments to the law that created the DSP are evaluated.
“I have to say that, regarding the umbrella, we have the same concerns as the House. The umbrella was created to merge resources, save money … and not only were expenses increased, but money from the 9-1-1 (System) was used to pay other expenses that have nothing to do with the umbrella, ”said Dalmau . “The colleague (president of the Chamber, Rafael ‘Tatito’ Hernández) presented a proposal on how to handle what is an emergency that needs a quick response,” he added.
Dalmau said that they discussed with the governor plans to approve changes to the DSP so that “if the umbrella is going to stay, it works. That means savings, an effective operation. That we do not combine what should be 9-1-1 with a rapid response of emergency management.
In PPD caucus
The caucus of the Popular Democratic Party (PPD) in the Senate is expected to meet today and the issue of the DSP could be one of the topics to be discussed.
“Certainly the nomination (of Torres) is not conditioned on the issue of the DSP, but it is an issue that is being evaluated. When the umbrella did not exist, there were agencies that were more effective. So we are in a dialogue and evaluating which agencies are taken out to have their autonomy. The most recent example is the Institute of Forensic Sciences, which once was given autonomy is working in a better way and was not working under the umbrella, ”said popular senator Gretchen Hau. He added that it is necessary to “make legislative decisions” about agencies that can be more efficient and more productive.
He stated that he would support a refocusing of the DSP to make it more efficient, but was not clear when asked if he understands that this entity should be dismantled.
Meanwhile, the popular senator Juan Zaragoza said that Torres can be confirmed and within that context dismember the umbrella. “I have like a plaster with the umbrella because it is visualized as a magic solution to things and I don’t like it. I can understand from a managerial point of view that when you have a governor at the top of the pyramid, you would like things to go like a pyramid and you cannot have 112 people reporting to a governor, but there are issues that justify having primary care existing she alone ”, he affirmed.
He stressed that he is concerned that outside of Manuel Cidre – appointed to the Department of Economic Development and Commerce – none of the other officials nominated to the cabinet has managerial experience, although he acknowledged that this does not disqualify them.
To evaluate all the secretaries
As for the secretaries who remained in their posts after the end of the last administration, Dalmau indicated that they must go to the Senate for confirmation again.
He assured that it is not the same government as Wanda Vázquez, when they were originally appointed. He reiterated that when they are appointed by a new governor, they must go through the senatorial sieve again.
Upon reaching the governorship, Pierluisi left several secretaries and officials in their posts, including Carlos Rivera (Labor); Francisco Parés (Treasury); María Conte (Forensic Sciences) and Rafael Machargo in the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DRNA).
Dalmau recognized that there are precedents of administrations in which the secretaries have continued in their positions without needing to be confirmed again. However, he explained, this happened in governments like Rafael Hernández Colón, who was in La Fortaleza for more than a four-year period.
He stated that the governor’s intention is not to send these appointments to the Senate for consideration, adding that he will assess whether the matter should be taken to court.
“A new governor must appoint his cabinet. These secretaries were not appointed by him or evaluated by this Senate. Although the intention of the court in the above cases is that they do not have to be evaluated by the Legislature, I think it is different. Whether or not this entails going to court is something that I am going to evaluate, ”Dalmau emphasized.
Reporter Ayeza Díaz contributed to this story.