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Paulwell says he expects no conflict of interest in proposed OUR oversight body

Published:Thursday | October 22, 2015 | 10:22 AMJerome Reynolds, Staff Reporter
Phillip Paulwell says there will be built-in mechanisms in relation to how the oversight body operates to guard against any potential conflict.

Energy Minister, Phillip Paulwell, says he does not expect a conflict of interest will arise when the new oversight body for the Office of the Utilities Regulations (OUR) becomes operational.

Last week, the Parliament passed amendments to the OUR Act, which was piloted by Paulwell.

Among other things, the Act stipulates the establishment of a six-member oversight body comprising non-executive members.

The management of the OUR will be required to hold discussions with the oversight body when it considers applications for electricity tariffs.

The law allows a member of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) to sit on the oversight body.

The Jamaica Public Service Company, which has an all-island licence to generate and distribute electricity, sits on the PSOJ’s 50-member governing council.

However, the Energy Minister says there will be built-in mechanisms in relation to how the oversight body operates to guard against any potential conflict.

He emphasises that the body will be made up of respected individuals with good reputations.

 

Energy Minister, Phillip Paulwell

In piloting the bill, Paulwell said the setting up of the oversight body for the OUR will enhance transparency and investor confidence within the electricity sector.

He pointed out that in the past investors have expressed concern about a lack of transparency in the mechanism used by the utility regulator to set electricity tariffs.