FTC Chairman Tammy Bryan Moves Out of the Way
The following has been circulating on social media for a few weeks. It seems relevant with the press announcement Chairman of the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) Tammy Bryan has recused herself from taking further part in the Barbados Light & Power (BL&P) rate process – Blogmaster
As a child I liked to play those little games found in magazines called “connect the dots” and “follow the trail”. While following the trail sometimes led to a dead-end, connecting the dots often created an image one would not ordinarily see with the naked eye. Although things like magazines are passe and the world wide web is now en vogue I have kept up with my childhood passion of connecting dots and following trails.
One day whilst doodling around on a local online newspaper the recent Barbados Light & Power application for a rate hike caught my eye, especially the various actors involved and once again my childhood passion kicked in and I started connecting dots and following trails.
I kept hearing the name Barbados Light & Power and some name Emera used in the same breath. I wondered what it was and started my trail at the Corporate Affairs website. I discovered an Emera Inc on the external company register as being domiciled and registered in Halifax, Cananda and its mailing address locally was “suite 205-207, Dowell House, Roebuck & Palmetto Streets, Bridgetown, Barbados”.
Of course, I googled that address where a whole set of hits came up which all identified a law firm called George Walton Payne & Co. as being located at that address. I may be wrong but Emera is probably a client of that law firm. My childhood inquisitiveness continued and of course I wanted to know who were the people in this law firm and I quickly checked the Barbados Bar Association website and names like an Andrew Vanroy Thornhill, Q.C, a Tammy Lavone Bryan and a Mr. George Walton Payne, Q.C, all came up.
That last name triggered something in my head and then I remembered why the name of that law firm sounded familiar. If I not mistaken is that not the law firm where the Attorney General Mr. Dale D. Marshall, Q.C was a managing partner? He supposed to have some flagship piece of law called Integrity in Public Life that he can’t seem to breathe life into. I didn’t see his name on the Bar Association website but I sure he still got friends in there.
That trail led to a dead end, but still not satisfied I went back to the Corporate Affairs website and typed in Emera in various forms only to discover that there are two Emera (Caribbean) Incorporated, one listed on the Amalgamation (Domestic) Register as company 40270 and the other on the Domestic Register as company 14327. There is yet another, Emera Caribbean Holdings Limited on the International Business Company as company number 40616. All of that was gobbledy-gook to me except that one name kept cropping up. That of Andrew V. Thornhill, and I wondered if this person could possibly be Andrew Vanroy Thornhill, Q.C? I must admit that I cheated on this one and got some help from a little birdy who had access to the people database but it confirmed that they are the same person. Not only is he a partner in that fancy law firm but he is a managing partner if you please. Apparently it was he who managed that big fish of Emera buying the shares of the BL&P! Now I understand why people call the two names together. Emera owns Light & Power. My little exercise didn’t lead me anywhere though. I heard it isn’t unusual for lawyers to sit on the boards of their client companies who they represent legally. I had run into a dead-end again so I started on a new track.
I started at the website of the Fair Trading Commission because it is that government entity who is to determine the principles, rates and standards of service for places like Light & Power. Their values are supposed to include acting with integrity, fostering the respect and trust of staff and the public, and demonstrating impartiality. This FTC place is headed by a board of Commissioners under the chairmanship of a Mrs. Tammy Bryan. Something there again rang a bell, that name sounded awfully familiar. Is this Mrs. Tammy Bryan, Chairman of the FTC and the Tammy Lavone Bryan of George Walton Payne & Co. the legal firm that represents Emera one and the same person? Again, I had to cheat on this one and look at the back of the book for the answers, and again my suspicions were confirmed. Not only is she a partner together with Andrew Vanroy Thornhill Q.C, one of the Emera Directors, but is junior to him. The people work in the same place with their offices separated by a veneer thin piece of Chinese see-though paper for a wall! They probably borrow pens, papers, chit-chat about how wifey, hubby or the children doing and bounce things off each other.
I don’t know, but would a managing partner not be senior to an ordinary partner and have a certain level of influence on them? Don’t Chairman of anything still have a certain level of influence on the other members? I know sometimes they have a deciding vote on things.
I’m ignorant to how these things work, but I began to wonder if the law firm George Walton Payne & Co. was working for its client Emera in advising on the current application before the FTC panel for an order for a confidentiality hearing and for rate increases backdate to November last year. If this is so, would the law firm of George Walton Payne & Co. not stand to make a profit in some form or fashion from that application of its client Emera to the FTC under the chairmanship of one of its partners? This picture looking really ugly though.
Again I am ignorant to these things but does a partner in a law firm not equate to that of a director in a company even if by another name? Does a partner in a law firm not have a duty to the firm and to look out for its best interest? I would have to consult with a lawyer on that one but it makes me wonder who the missy that is Partner/Chairman/Commissioner batting for.
I also wonder about the FTC Commissioners, are they not “Directors” of that entity as well, even if by another name and owe a duty to that entity and as their value statement” said to act with integrity and demonstrate impartiality? I remembered years ago in a business law class somewhere that directors have a duty not to make a secret profit. I also remembered in that same class some talk about disclosure, conflict of interest and the whole nine yards.
I must admit though that I’ve never had these two games combined into one, where following a track connected dots along the way.In the end, I seem to be no wiser in my little online follow the track and connect the dots game for what I’ve ended up with looks more like one of those things oletime things called a cesspit. It used to have in a lot of nasty worms and creepers and it looked like it was living. God forbid if you ever disturbed it and it belched. The whole place was stink for miles around.
I must see if any of the intervenors at the FTC, BL&P rate hearing can help me to identify what I just ended up with. In the meantime I moving on to the next game called follow the trail and find Ian Carrington.