Governor Ricardo Rosselló authorized the creation of a new office to control and oversee the recovery and reconstruction of Puerto Rico. Executive Order 2017-065 issued on October 23, 2017, as amended by Executive Order 2017-069 issued on November 10, 2017 (the “Order”), authorizes the creation of the Central Recovery and Reconstruction Office of Puerto Rico (“CRRO”), as a division of the Public Private Partnerships Authority (the “P3 Authority”), in order to centralize the control and oversight of the recovery and reconstruction of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria.
The CRRO is created for purposes of (i) identifying and procuring all state, federal and/or private resources available to the government entities of the executive branch (the “Government Entities”), (ii) coordinating and channeling the recovery and reconstruction efforts of the Government Entities, (iii) financing, executing and effecting infrastructure projects related to the recovery and, (iv) advising the Governor and providing technical assistance and advice to the Government Entities.
The Order provides that the CRRO will develop, present and administer any proposal, application, action plan, petition, claim or other method used by any Government Entity to request funds or resources under any state, federal or private program. The Order also designates the P3 Authority, through the CRRO, as the exclusive grantee or administrator (or any other analogous designation) of all federal programs available to address the recovery and reconstruction of Puerto Rico.
The CRRO will be led by the Executive Director of the P3 Authority or by the executive officer of the P3 Authority that the Board of Directors of the P3 Authority designates pursuant to the petition of the Executive Director, who shall consult the Governor of Puerto Rico prior to submitting such petition to the Board.
The Order states that it is effective immediately and directs the Executive Director and the Board of Directors of the P3 Authority to issue and approve all resolutions, regulations, administrative orders and instruments required to formalize the creation of the CRRO.
At a press conference held on November 27, 2017, the Governor announced that, for purposes of ensuring a transparent and effective recovery process, the CRRO will be subject to rigorous and unprecedented control measures. As an example, the Governor mentioned that the Federal Emergency Management Agency will have to approve the disbursement of funds for recovery projects.
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