Velázquez, House Members Oppose Privatization of Puerto Rico Statistical Agency
Call for Inclusion in Other U.S. Statistical Programs
Washington, DC – Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) today led fourteen Members of Congress in expressing concerns over the potential privatization of the Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics (PRIS). In a bipartisan letter to the Office of Management and Budget, the Members of Congress write that the ongoing humanitarian crisis and economic hardship on the Island requires accurate, reliable data and that removing the independence from the PRIS’ functions could undermine the Institute’s credibility. The Members of Congress also ask that Puerto Rico be included in other federal statistical programs to finally close the data gap that exists for Puerto Rico.
“Amidst recent news coverage on the intention of Puerto Rico’s government to fold the Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics (PRIS) into the Department of Economic Development and Commerce and allow for the Secretary to privatize PRIS’s core functions, we write to you to express concern over the announcement, and reiterate the importance of the independence of the PRIS,” the letter states. “As it relates to Puerto Rico, the need for public, independent, and unbiased data has never been more acute, particularly as Congress debates disaster supplemental legislation. We urge the inclusion of Puerto Rico in federal statistical programs and surveys carried out by the U.S. Census Bureau and other federal agencies.”
A .pdf of the letter is online here.