With specific examples on how technology can lead to savings of up to 90% and provide a significant boost to the economy and tourism, Tom Loosemore, former Deputy Director of Digital Service from the UK and Shawn Sullivan, Director of Public Policy at Airbnb, addressed technological, business and political community leaders in Puerto Rico during the event “Dear Fiscal Board” Organized by entrepreneur and former Chief Information Officer, Giancarlo González and the co-working space Piloto 151. The event was attended by the executive director of the Fiscal Oversight Board, Natalie Jaresko.
For Loosemore, the element of innovation goes far beyond developing better technology tools for less investment, it “requires radical approaches. It starts small but with quick wins. Do not make the process of handling paperwork easier, you simply challenge the use of paper.” The Former founder of the UK digital service was emphatic on the subject of technology spending that Government agencies around the world and stressed the importance of leveling the competition between suppliers and technology contractors through more effective agile procurement processes by the government. “This could lead to savings of up to 90% in spending,” according to Loosemore.
The Director of Public Policy for Airbnb, Shawn Sullivan, said that in Puerto Rico there are already more than 6,000 homeowners participating and that brought about 200,000 tourists to the country last year. These have seen a opportunity to extend their visit by reducing accommodation costs which in turn is reinvested in the ‘sharing economy’ of the Island through the acquisition of goods and services.
Sullivan expressed his interest in collaborating with the island’s digital ecosystem and anticipated that is in talks with the government so that Airbnb collaborates with the Tourism Company to Incorporate the payment of taxes for rental of properties in tourist areas on the same platform so that they can be expressly forwarded.