OfReg proposes consumer protection rules

| 12/08/2020 | 23 Comments
OfReg Executive Director Energy and Utilities Gregg Anderson at PAC

(CNS): Three years after its launch, the Utility Regulation and Competition Office (OfReg) has announced that it is conducting a public consultation on the proposed consumer protection regulations for the energy and water utilities under its remit. This was one of the main motivations for creating the beleaguered office, which has since its inception created more controversy that protection.

According to a press release issued Tuesday, “One of the principal functions of OfReg is to protect the short and long-term interests of consumers.”

Gregg Anderson, the regulator’s executive director responsible for power and water, recently appeared before the Public Accounts Committee, which was examining a report by the auditor general that had found some serious shortcomings at OfReg, including the failure to address the fundamental issue of consumer protection.

Anderson defended the regulation of the utilities under his remit and suggested that OfReg had been proactive over the last three years by introducing the real time outage alerts from CUC and picking up the long-term talks with Consolidated Water, which provides services to the government-owned Water Authority and water directly to West Bay residents. No licensee agreement has been signed, however, as Anderson said that OfReg was still not satisfied with the rates the company was offering.

He said that CUC was passing on the recent fuel factor reductions consumers. However, when pressed by PAC member Chris Saunders (BTW) he could not explain how that element of the bill is calculated, even though at times it can account for more than half of the total.

Anderson’s job was advertised just a few days after his appearance before the committee, which the chief executive told CNS was mere coincidence. This was the same for his colleague, Alee Fa’amoe who is the executive director of ICT, but both men were required to re-apply for their posts. CNS has learned that Fa’amoe is now leaving OfReg, though the telecom expert said Wednesday that he was unable to comment on the situation.

It is unclear whether or not Anderson will be continuing in his role.

According to a press release, the consultation now underway relates to the regulations that will guide consumer protection of these areas and OfReg is now seeking the views of the general public as well as the operators providing electricity, water and wastewater, namely CUC, Consolidated Water and the Water Authority-Cayman.

The draft document outlines the proposed rules around consumers access to information about the services their utility provider should be supplying and clarity around bills, contracts and cancellations.

“The proposed Regulations seek to address the protocols and rules which sectoral providers should adhere to in relation to the provision of information, the requirements on how to address complaints, contract terms, billing, service provision and fault repair,” the release stated.

The relevant laws require OfReg to review and approve rules relating to the service provided by the utility licensees for both power and water. The office is also required to prescribe standards of performance in connection with the provision of these utilities services to customers, after consultation with providers and the public.

The consultation document can be viewed in the CNS Library.

Interested parties have until 5 September to submit comments and views to OfReg via consultations@OfReg.ky.

Anyone with questions can also contact the office at 946-4282
or email the Manager of Consumer Affairs & Public Education at info@ofreg.ky.

See Gregg Anderson at the PAC last month on CIGTV below:

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Category: Business, Politics, Private Sector Oversight, utilities

Comments (23)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Unna wait until, that idiot Roy McTaggart, gets thru taxing us to death. Isn’t he supposed to guide or advise Govt. on how best to spend the money in the coffers? Isn’t that what finance ministers do?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Anderson answered the questions put to him fully. It is most unfair to say otherwise.
    In fact the PAC Chairman congratulated him on his candid response at the end.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I would like CNS or someone to dig up who actually owns the property that this department rented for 300+K and never used. Should be interesting to see the connection.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you think that corruption is purely limited to the public sector you are surely mistaken. The farce with Work Permits and the type of modern indentured slavery now practiced in the private sector by small and large firms goes unmentioned. People are also being held for ransom in their jobs and blacklisted by recruiters who operate like a closed shop system with collusion by the patrónes. Isn’t this a type of cartel by another name.

    • Anonymous says:

      Walk in to GAB, ask to see the land registry (a public document). There, that was simple enough. Or are you really just trying to slander through innuendo?

  4. Anonymous says:

    The law requires that each position is on a set fixed term contract so advertising the positions is the correct procedure. In fact this should be the approach for several other government bodies.

    • Anonymous says:

      10:36 rubbish!

    • Anonymous says:

      The law says IF the post is vacant. The post is not vacant. Alee is the only Executive Director there doing any real work.
      When was the last time you saw an advertisement for Cindy Scotland, Joel Walton, Lizette Yearwood, Richard Smith or Nicoela McCoy?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Taking home big pay checks, driving big cars, and doing absolutely nothing to earn it. They have no shame!!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    All executive positions within any government agency or department should be two year contractual positions. The individuals in those positions should be required to re-apply for their jobs every two years. It would go a long way to getting the rot out of the system.

    • Anonymous says:

      Lmao. How can they offer us consumer protection while they are costing us a fortune? It’s time to shut it down

    • Anonymous says:

      7.19 While I agree with that suggestion, unfortunately it wouldn’t. Favours would be called in, funny handshakes would be given, old scores would be settled and nothing would change. It’s time to finally admit that we are stuck with the current system of nepotism, cronyism, favouritism, backhanders, kickbacks and bent administration.

    • Anonymous says:

      Congratulations. You would make the public service beholden to whichever political party was in power at the time for their jobs. – Idiot – There is a reason that public service jobs around the world are ‘protected’ from that sort of revolving door policy.

      If you problem is with them not doing their jobs, demand that. Don’t make the situation worse by having them look over their shoulder every time they make a decision to see if it affects their employment or not.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Truly pathetic. And normal operating procedure for CIG. Ignorance is the only thing saving Caymanians from being embarrassed. This is your reputation Cayman. And your reward is on its way.

  8. Delete the Defunct in 2021 says:

    This is their feeble attempt at redemption? Please redeem us all, go home and find a real hard working jobs, the lot of you sorry, good for nothing, pen pushers!

    • Anonymous says:

      And not a damn thing you can do about it. Sit back and watch them spend all the money on themselves. Your children will have nothing but debt to pay. But you knew that right?

      • Anonymous says:

        Unna wait until, that idiot Roy McTaggart, gets thru taxing us to death. Isn’t he supposed to guide or advise Govt. on how best to spend the money in the coffers? Isn’t that what finance ministers do?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm? What? Three years after its inception it finds its purpose??!! Chairman and those high-paid “executives” must go! Revamp OfReg!

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