SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Top financial officials in Puerto Rico are offering a peek into why the U.S. territory is mired in an 11-year recession as a federal control board demands more transparency and information about the island's finances.
Officials said Friday that for decades the number of government bank accounts was unclear, public agencies used one of four different accounting systems, and government vendors charged more for services when not paid.
Puerto Rico fiscal agency director Gerardo Portela said an ongoing audit has found $6.8 billion in some 800 government accounts. He noted that $4.3 billion of that amount is not available for use due to restrictions.
He also stressed that the island's utility companies will soon run out of money.