New Port Authority director turns down credit card for US$10,000 a month for personal expenses

Has Jean Luis Rodriguez, the new executive director of the Dominican Port Authority, opened a Pandora’s box?

Rodríguez is setting an example that many government officials will find tough to follow. He understands the extras are illegitimate and untimely in these Covid-19 days

Rodríguez turned down US$10,000 a month in personal expenses. He was not being held accountable for how he spent the money; the government would just pay the credit card bills, no questions asked.

Rodriguez also turned down being paid RD$50,000 bonus for each time he attended a board of directors meeting of the Dominican Port Authority.

The disclosure by Rodriguez provides another glimpse into the wasteful spending that was normal in the past Medina administration and if unchecked could continue in the Abinader administration.

Rodríguez acknowledged that the generous benefits were normal in government institutions since they were authorized in 2010 at the end of the second consecutive Leonel Fernandez term.

Rodríguez announced on his social media accounts: “I leave without effect the use of a corporate credit card with a limit of RD$150,000 per month and US$10,000 for personal expenses of the Executive Board without having to report or account for the spending,” he said. In his understanding these perks are in violation of the law on public officials. He said the only exceptions authorized by law for unaccounted credit card expenses are in the President and the Vice President’s cases.

Radio talk show host Altagracia Salazar asked on her show on 16 October: If a fifth level government officer had a credit card for RD$150,000 and US$10,000 a month, what is assigned to the other more higher up government officers?”

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Altagracia Salazar Sin Maquillaje

16 October 2020