OfReg opens for complaints at GT office

| 03/02/2017 | 47 Comments
Cayman News Service

Linford Pierson

(CNS):  The new Utility Regulation and Competition Office, now known as OfReg, is up and running. The Ministry of Planning, Lands and Agriculture announced Friday that the doors were open at the new overarching regulator, which is designed to protect consumers and promote competition. People can now raise concerns or file complaints with the new regulator about any aspect of the telecommunications, electricity and fuel sectors. In the near future the water regulator will also be merged into OfReg. Former politician and speaker of the House, Linford Pierson, is the chairman of the new regulatory board, while Jamaican utility regulator expert, J. Paul Morgan, has joined the new office as the CEO.

The new teams covering the various utilities that the new office will now cover,

Staff from the former Information and Communications Technology Authority (ICTA), Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) and the Petroleum Inspectorate are now working together at the former ICTA offices at Alissta Towers on North Sound Road.

Cabinet established the multi-sector regulatory agency following an evaluation of the functions of the existing regulators. The report found that a converged utility regulator would improve oversight of the sectors, and was used to inform the 2014 EY report, which contained a similar recommendation, officials said.

J. Paul Morgan

After the passage of the enabling legislation at the end of 2016 the merger was completed in early January 2017. The creation of the office was also driven by concerns in particular about the lack of transparency for the wholesale importers and suppliers of fuel to the Cayman Islands, amid fears that the oil companies are manipulating the system and overcharging both government and consumers.

The minister responsible for utilities, Kurt Tibbetts, said the design of the statutory and regulatory framework reflected international best practice for similar regulatory organisations.

“This is a good day for the Caymanian consumer and for the sectors,” he said in a release from GIS. “The new multi-sector regulator has clear and unambiguous powers to discharge its regulatory duties in a transparent and impartial manner. Perhaps more importantly, it also has a clearly outlined duty to protect local consumers, facilitate economic development and promote innovation in the sectors for which it has responsibility.

Officials said the new CEO has previously headed a similar regulatory agency in Jamaica and has more than 20 years direct experience in utility regulation. While Pierson, who has been appointed chair, was once the minister responsible for telecommunications and works and steered through the liberalisation of the telecoms market here in the 1990’s. Officials said election of the remaining members of the board is subject to a transparent statutory process that involves advertising in local media, and must be complete within two months.

Additional legislation is expected to be presented at the February sitting of the Legislative Assembly to facilitate the transfer of the economic regulatory functions of the Water Authority to OfReg.

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Category: Local News, Politics

Comments (47)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    CNS do you know if this new OfReg answerable to the Ministry of Planning or is it independent like the Office of the Auditor General?

    CNS:
    This is a good question. We’ve passed it on to Auntie on CNS Local Life.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe Auntie can also get hold of the Ministry’s Business Case for establishing this entity so we can better understand where the savings are under the E&Y…. I have searched the government websites but cannot find anything.




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  2. Anonymous says:

    Well he sure has a nice apron!.




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  3. Anonymous says:

    dont know how true. but i was told all ppm ministers are freemasons? so are most of top level in goverment? if its is-wow!!! worrying trend…..




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  4. Anonymous says:

    This is long overdue and a welcomed example of joined up government and reduced costs. Read the EY report…it’s all in the report.

    Oh oh does this mean the government are implementing recommendations in the EY report. YES.




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    • Anonymous says:

      The real question is “Will they act as a true regulator whose purpose is to protect the Consumer?” Or will they simply be another body corporate that is designed to protect commercial and monopolistic interests. If the latter – watch for the kick backs from commercial enterprise to these new board members. ACC I suggest sharpening your pencils. (That is if the ACC isn’t Lodge as well) – wasn’t there a law to protect against this? Think it was called the Standards in Public Life…..




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    • Anonymous says:

      Have you seen the published Business Case from Project Future Unit that demonstrates how much savings the OfReg will result in?




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  5. Anonymous says:

    For customers let us hope that this new board whatever it is called goes better than the deregulation of the telephone and tv went to give them contracts allowing them to take advantage of us the customers.

    This whole board thing has been done in secret by government we know that the secrecy was not done for our benefit it was only done in secret to benefit the gang.




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  6. Anonymous says:

    Another government lie, remind me again……this was done to save money???

    Ernst and Young your report is destroying our small advances towards democracy and costing us more money.

    The next lie will be the killing off of the Freedom of Information Commissioner Office and the Complaints Commissioner Office – another lie to save money.

    With the exception of only a very few civil servants and politicians, the vast majority want to keep the Caymanian public in the dark and unable to have poor governance investigated.

    Watch out Auditor General and Public Accounts Committee, targets have been painted on your backs.

    Next targets:

    * Register of Interests

    * Standards in Public Life (it will be aborted before it is born).

    Cleaning up poor dirty government systems is hard to do.

    The more things change the more they remain the same!




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    • Anonymous says:

      3:36 I have never read such rubbish in my life. Did you vote for trump ? Now get back in your play pen.




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  7. LODGE says:

    Oh Wow Linford is one of the highest ranked Masons and the CEO is one too!




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    • Anonymous says:

      Usually persons who try to discredit Freemasonry have either been rejected for membership, or just have no appreciation as to how this old and ancient but still relevant charitable institution has built societies (many of the founding fathers of the USA were Freemasons), so please take a look and educate yourself by reading the below:

      http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/freemasons-of-the-caribbean

      http://www.freemasonrybahamas.net/




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      • Anonymous says:

        I think you just shot yourself in the foot with your justification by quoting the founding fathers. They have given the world Trump – huge, huge disaster




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        • Anonymous says:

          You make no sense my friend. The founding fathers are far removed from this era of Trump. It sound like you would you have rather not have had the great USA, and the conveniences you enjoy here because of the Cayman Islands’ community of interest with that northern country? Let us stick to the issue.




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      • Anonymous says:

        The founding fathers also owned slaves.. What’s your point?




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      • Anonymous says:

        Nice Kool Aid, eh?

        Allow me:

        Freemasonry joins all pagan groups in saying that man can become “divine” or “perfect.” In another book, George returns to this theme once again:
        “Be still — and know — that I am God … That I AM GOD — the final recognition of the All in All, the unity of the Self with the Cosmos — the cognition of the DIVINITY OF THE SELF!”

        [George H. Steinmetz, The Lost Keys of Freemasonry, Richmond, Virginia, Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Company, 1923, p. 92]
        Freemasonry has been so sensitive about any of its secrets ever becoming public knowledge. Masons in every age knew that if the general public knew the Satanic core that existed in the heart of Freemasonry, the organization would either go into oblivion or would be arrested and put in jail. Now you know why Freemasonry insists that its Initiates pledge that, if they divulge any of Masonry’s secrets, he would agree to having his throat slit and be disemboweled.

        Manly P. Hall, another 33rd Degree Mason, writes,
        “Man is a God in the making …”
        [The Lost Keys of Freemasonry, p. 92]
        Masonic author, Joseph Fort Newton, clearly and boldly states,
        “.. to the profoundest insight of the human soul — that God becomes man that man may become God.”
        [The Religion of Freemasonry: An Interpretation, Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Company, 1969, p. 37]

        http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/sociopol_brotherhoodss01c.htm

        In conclusion, all I can say is, “Good luck with that.”

        For your information, I have never asked to join, been asked to join or would ever consider joining. The destiny of my eternal soul is far too important for a brief stint of power, riches and influence in a dimension that is already slated for destruction.

        It’s like we are playing the final game in a stadium that will be torn down after the last match. There has never been a contest like this one before, nor will there be one after.

        Just make sure you are on the winning side.




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        • Anonymous says:

          You obviously believe everything you read and cannot think critically.




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          • Anonymous says:

            Actually, no I don’t. I grew up believing that everything I saw on our respected news outlets or read in our newspapers was truth.
            I even learned to absorb vast amounts of information to regurgitate on the way to a first-class honours degree.

            Now, I question everything because a lot of what I have been told by supposedly educated people has turned out to be either a lie or a broken promise.

            Perhaps you should get out from behind the keyboard more often?
            Are you a mason?




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            • Anonymous says:

              What’s your name again ‘First class degree’.
              Well common sense will tell you that people who publish quite often have some agenda. If you delve into the motivations authors of those publications you have quoted, therein will lay the answers to your many questions.




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      • Anonymous says:

        This merely is the public facing purpose of the organization, but it’s true purpose remains shrouded in mystery and secrecy. A dinner theatre & boys club that regularly creates special circumstances to initiate politicians merely to spread their undue influence! And despite professing they stand for something greater, their real purpose is insidious and self-serving.




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  8. Anonymous says:

    OMG!! Thank you for posting the photo of the boss man!! Connections now understood. Let’s see how many other connections will be selected to join the new board and staff….




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    • Anonymous says:

      The Freemasons have enough clout on this board now so no need for any more but do check any other board that could oppose this one, there we might get few more aprons




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  9. Anonymous says:

    What on earth is Mr Morgan wearing?




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  10. Anonymous says:

    Interesting selection for CEO! Was dis job advertised to give Caymanians a chance to apply? Wasn’t he working in ministry of planning on something related to setting up dis regulation office? Wish um luck!




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    • Anonymous says:

      The post was not advertised. Mr. Morgan was the consultant now he is CEO. There was enough time to follow the law and advertise the post. But when you have friends in high places……..




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      • Anonymous says:

        If it is correct that CEO was the Ministry’s Consultant for this project, then for him to be immediately appointed CEO gives the unintended appearance of conflict of interest. The information in the media does not say whether or not this appointment is temporary until advertised to allow Caymanians the opportunity to apply. Unfortunately, this state of affairs does not give an encouraging perception to the general public on how this very important Office will operate.




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  11. Anonymous says:

    Mr Pierson,
    Please disclose your share holdings in CUC.
    Some will be surprised at this appointment.




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  12. Anonymous says:

    Linford could have been a winner ……




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  13. Anonymous says:

    another jamaican connection…oh boy…….




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  14. Anonymous says:

    No discharging of guns in public places to celebrate, now…




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  15. Anonymous says:

    Another exorbitant salary I have to get out of bed to pay. Perhaps I should throw the towel in and get a job with government so I can turn the screw on the middle and working classes in the private sector?
    Corruption, nepotism, cronyism and dodgy handshakes are the order of the day.
    What can we do about it?
    Not a damned thing it would seem. I know that the cries of the Caymanian people under the cruel hand of their harsh taskmasters have come into the ear of the Living God.

    Yes, I will punish now with my brothers and sisters, but God help you all when the cup of his indignation is full.




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    • Anonymous says:

      We ask for innovation. We ask for joined up government. We asked for expertise we ask for the gas companies to be held accountable…the government does just that and what do they get …comments like 3:25.

      Are you running for election or are you just plain stupid.




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      • Anonymous says:

        You asked for that a long time ago. What do you have to show for it?
        Ah, you remember?

        Now, who’s stupid?




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  16. Anonymous says:

    I’d really like an explanation from Linford as to why our fuel/petrol/gas costs are so ridiculously high?




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  17. Anonymous says:

    This is so funny! Mark the connections, who was employed by the Ministry to set this all up and is now the CEO! Now that should trigger some type of review as I cannot recall seeing an advertisement in the media for the position of CEO of this new OfReg kingdom!




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  18. Anonymous says:

    Dear CNS, I noticed you seem to lack a picture of the new CEO of OfReg. You can find one here:

    https://goo.gl/images/AL2Xwi

    CNS: Thanks!




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  19. Anonymous says:

    Take a look at nearby fuel prices and tell me the Cayman consumer is not being gouged by the local cartel.
    http://en.centralamericadata.com/en/search?q1=content_en_le:%22Fuel+price%22&q2=mattersInCountry_es_le:%22Honduras%22




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  20. lmao says:

    Linfords prize for staying out of the elections I suppose – ah boy the nepotism. I hear he has stated he is now supporting the PPM politically!




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