THE EDITOR, Sir:
I note with interest that the Consumer Advisory Committee on Utilities (CACU), an entity established and funded by the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR), has come out in strong support of the Jamaica Public Service Company on maintaining its monopoly licence.
The CACU's sudden advocacy for the retention of the monopoly would give one the impression that this is a group speaking on the behalf of Jamaican consumers. Nothing could be further from the truth. The CACU is simply a committee of the OUR set up to be the 'consumer arm' of the regulator.
You should recall that the CACU was merely set up by the OUR because of the absence of effective utility consumer advocacy.
While not accusing the CACU of anything unsavoury, you will understand my unease with the unit coming out in strong defence of the JPS, which, interestingly, partly funds the OUR, which, in turn, funds the CACU. There is an apparent incestuous and conflictual relationship.
It would be more palatable if the views were coming from the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC), a creature of Parliament.
I call on the CAC to commission a research by experts on the feasibility of breaking the JPS monopoly and its implications on the cost of energy.
DENNIS MEADOWS (JP)