Qn: Prof. Romer, are you still working with the government of Honduras on the creation of a RED – a Region Especial de Dessarrollo? Or on what some have called a model city?
Ans: I and the other people who were named to the Transparency Commission wrote a public letter to President Lobo stating that we have no ongoing role in the project. Personally, I have also resigned from the CORED advisory committee.
Qn: In the beginning, you were an active supporter of the RED project. What changed?
Ans: From recent newspaper reports, I learned that the Honduran agency responsible for public-private partnerships had signed an agreement about a RED with a private company. When I asked for information, I was told that I could not see this agreement.
Whatever the reasons for these decisions, the result was an important failure of transparency. The public perception, that the Transparency Commission was in operation, differed from the reality. This gave the wrong impression about the checks and balances that would be operating as the first RED came into existence.