The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) has delivered a sharp response to the findings of the Office of the Contractor General (OCG) into the 360-megawatt project.
The OUR, in a release late yesterday, said the OCG's conclusions "are patently incorrect and unsupported by the requirements of Government policy and the law". The OUR further stated the contractor general has displayed, "at best, a deficit of understanding of how the Government's procurement guidelines would apply to this process or apparently had a preconceived notion of process and, therefore, found it expedient to redefine an informal process into a formal one to make the case".
Among its grouses, the OUR said the contractor general's conclusion that the March 15, 2013 deadline was a strict termination date for a formal procurement process "is completely erroneous and is predicated on the unlawful application of a procurement procedure applicable to consulting services".
The OUR said based on the informal nature of the process, it could lawfully accept and consider Energy World International's (EWI) bid. The body also contended there is no evidence to support the claim that Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell made any request whatsoever of the OUR regarding EWI.
"The request for consideration of EWI's proposal came from Cabinet, for which the OUR sought the guidance of the NCC (National Contracts Commission) to assist in its decision making," the OUR said.
The OUR disagreed there was "a dereliction of duty, which resulted in it falling short of ensuring and maintaining the integrity of the process".
The OUR's full response is on its website www.our.org.jm.