Fri | Jan 19, 2018

Whither logic at OUR?

Published:Saturday | June 18, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Philip Ireland

I have been in dialogue with the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) for more than one year concerning an entity that is in clear violation of Section 4A of the OUR Act. Section 4A states, inter alia, that an entity or individual who wishes to provide a prescribed utility service must obtain a licence, signed by the minister. This entity has been supplying water in breach of the law, and this situation had been brought to the attention of the OUR.

The OUR has stated that it did not license this entity, and therefore, the OUR cannot act against it. I am completely bewildered by this assertion. Am I to conclude that in all instances where the law states that a licence is required, all one has to do is to ignore the law and nothing can be done because one is not licensed to begin with? Or is it that certain laws only apply to persons in the lower echelons of society?

I find it hard to imagine a person operating a taxi without the requisite licence(s) being given a free rein by the Transport Authority and the police with the explanation that no action can be taken against him.

If this is the kind of logic that guides those entrusted with the protection of the interests of all Jamaicans, especially the most vulnerable among us, we are facing dire straits as a country.