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United States : Menendez, Rubio, Blumenthal, Kennedy Introduce Legislation to Guarantee Puerto Ricans Same Transparency and Disclosure Practices Required in U.S. Mainland Bankruptcies.

U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and John Kennedy (R-La.) introduced the Puerto Rico Recovery Accuracy in Disclosures Act of 2019 (PRRADA).The bipartisan legislation would provide robust disclosure requirements to all of the Puerto Rico Financial Oversight and Management Boards advisers and consultants, closing a loophole in the existing law. PRRADA would require vendors to disclose their relationships, guaranteeing to the people of Puerto Rico the same transparency and disclosure practices required by law in U.S. mainland bankruptcies. Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.).

In 2016, Congress passed the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) to set up an orderly bankruptcy process to restructure the islands debts, pay off creditors, approve infrastructure projects, and stimulate economic development. At the time, the law failed to add a requirement for advisers and consultants to disclose their own conflicts of interests with the variety of creditors to whom Puerto Rico owes $123 billion.

Although I opposed PROMESA vehemently, I still believe that the cadre of advisors and consultants created as a result of that law must be held accountable to the same transparency standards required by law in the mainland, said Sen. Menendez. Our legislation will close the current loophole, establishing robust disclosure requirements for bankruptcy advisors, and allowing the courts to deny payment to any bad actors with conflicts therefore making it more transparent for Puerto Ricans.

Transparency and accountability are critical to ensuring Puerto Ricos restructuring process is successful, Sen. Rubio said. Im proud to have worked with Senator Menendez to introduce this important bill that will extend the disclosure requirements to professionals seeking compensation under title III of PROMESA.

Our bill will give the people of Puerto Rico the same transparency and accountability that corporate shareholders already enjoy to ensure that the people and companies making decisions for them are free of conflicts of interest, said Sen. Blumenthal. It is a crucial, common sense step to protect the more than 3 million American citizens on Puerto Rico from corrupt and conflicted practices.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:May 30, 2019
Words:366
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