Union pushes for inspector general in Puerto Rico utility bankruptcy case

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bond Buyer ($):A Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority union has offered the appointment of an inspector general to the PREPA bankruptcy judge as an alternative to a bond insurer proposal for a receiver.The union, Unión de Trabajadores de la Industria Eléctrica y Riego, filed the suggestion in the PREPA bankruptcy Friday morning. In the same document UTIER objected to National Public Finance Guarantee Corp., Assured Guaranty Corp., Assured Guaranty Municipal Corp., and Syncora Guarantee Inc.’s motion for relief from the bankruptcy’s automatic stay, which is a necessary step on the way to appointing a receiver.The appointment of an independent private sector inspector general, as UTIER requested, would be a good idea, said Gustavo Vélez, chairman of Puerto Rico consulting firm Inteligencía Económica. However, Vélez said that appointing a receiver for PREPA would be even better. Puerto Rico’s governor has too much influence on the authority and there is too much corruption in it, Vélez said. While the insurers have asked to be allowed to name the receiver, he said that decision should be made by Judge Laura Taylor Swain.Under UTIER’s suggestion, the inspector general would monitor, audit, and investigate the authority’s activities. It would cover personnel practices and hiring regulations, procurements, fiscal and accounting issues, capital and energy planning, and regulatory oversight. It would report its results to the Puerto Rico Oversight Board, Puerto Rico’s governor, the court, the United States Attorney’s Office for Puerto Rico, and other entities. Reports would be ongoing.Tom Sanzillo, PREPA analyst and director of finance at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, helped to write the union’s motion. He told The Bond Buyer, “I have seen many plans for PREPA, most well intended. What they all miss is this: no bondholder will be paid, no debt agreement honored, no contract fairly negotiated, no employee treated decently, no legal agreement binding, no law complied with, no budget initiative credible, no commitment to 100% renewable energy kept, and no privatization scheme successful so long as PREPA is driven by a culture of political expediency. This move by UTIER offers an opportunity to bring professional utility standards into the day-to-day operation of PREPA.”More ($): PREPA union suggests inspector general as alternative to receiver Union pushes for inspector general in Puerto Rico utility bankruptcy caselast_img

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