If the omnipresent Prime Minister Mia Mottley is being frustrated by a moribund FTC to execute its job, what recourse is there for ‘lowly’ citizens.
Many Barbadians – we hope – have been following the protracted hearing to determine a rate application request by the Barbados Light & Power (BL&P) being adjudicated by the Fair Trading Commission (FTC). The blogmaster has a healthy respect for the intervenors representing the interest of citizens who despite being under-resourced have been putting in the work. However, it must be stated the review process smacks of being ultra-bureaucratic at a time timely decision making is required to move the country forward. The government it appears has created a monster.
The BL&P’s legal team has challenged the FTC’s decision issue earlier in February 2023. It is of interest based on the argument the FTC acted ultra vires. If the FTC Commissioners are forced to vary its earlier decision, there is a simple task for all members to perform – resign!
Given the implications of the FTC’s decision for Barbadians and the economy, one assumed there would have been a thorough deliberation by the Commissioners to preempt the need for the abbreviated 3-day hearing which concluded today.
Although the process of a utility rate hearing is highly technical, the FTC was established to ensure all actors involved operate in a fair conditions supported with the required in house skill sets. The protracted nature of the hearing in a volatile economic environment does not adhere to the FTC’s mandate. Prime Minister Mia Mottley has publicly stated her frustration at the delay while delivering the Budget in March this year. She indicated that the government was prepared to amend the legislation to prevent the kind of delays currently being experienced.
We cannot permit the transformation . . . of this country to be hampered by a tiresome cat and mouse game between the Barbados Light and Power and the Fair Trading Commission. Bajans cannot be the losers in this game, and this is what will happen if the cat and mouse game does not stop.Prime Minister Mia Mottley
If the omnipresent Prime Minister Mia Mottley is being frustrated by a moribund FTC to execute its job, what recourse is there for ‘lowly’ citizens who daily complain about a myriad of abuses by the utilities/telcoms.