Fri | Jul 19, 2019

No hard feelings! - OUR withdraws lawsuit against OCG

Published:Thursday | May 10, 2018 | 12:00 AMSyranno Baines/Gleaner Writer
Dirk Harrison

Declaring that neither had any intention to cause damage to the other's organisational reputation, the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) and the Integrity Commission have decided to bury the hatchet nearly two years after the former filed a suit in the Supreme Court against the Office of the Contractor General (OCG).

The 2016 lawsuit stemmed from a report issued by the OCG which contained findings that were critical of the process used by the OUR to review proposals for the supply of 360 megawatts of power to the national grid in 2013. Disagreeing with the findings and conclusions of the OCG report, the OUR issued a response on September 27, 2013, and subsequently sought the intervention of the court.

The OCG has since been absorbed into the Integrity Commission, pursuant to Sections 1 and 5 of the Integrity Commission Act, 2017.

In a joint statement issued yesterday under the signatures of Ansord Hewitt, director general of the OUR, and Dirk Harrison - the former contractor general - on behalf of the Integrity Commission, it was disclosed that the OUR has agreed to withdraw its claim, with each party bearing its own costs.

It further noted that a notice of discontinuance had since been filed.

The parties have accepted that neither had "any bad intention or malice in issuing the contractor general's report, the OUR's response to the report, or in filing the suit in court. Further, neither party had any intention to sully or cause damage to the other party's organisational reputation", the joint statement explained. It further added that subsequent to the filing of the court action, the parties have been in discussion and have now resolved certain misunderstandings accordingly.

They have "mutually agreed that there is no further need for the court's intervention or for either party to incur further litigation expense", according to the joint statement.