No need for commission of enquiry into Jamaica Public Service

first_img Share Tweet Share Sharing is caring! Sharecenter_img 27 Views   no discussions NewsRegional No need for commission of enquiry into Jamaica Public Service by: – August 23, 2011 Kingston, Jamaica –The National Youth Council of Jamaica (NYCJ) is imploring the Government to dismiss from their Agenda any plans to have another Commission of Enquiry, this time into the billing systems and operations of the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS). In recent months the Government of Jamaica spent Thirty-Three-Million ($33,000,000) Dollars for the “Manatt/Coke Commission of Enquiry”, at the end of which only a few recommendations were made.There is general public sentiment that Commissions of Enquiries (in Jamaica), in most instances, are a colossal waste of time and public funds. The NYCJ endorse that view and firmly believe that the very last thing that the Jamaican people need to hear about now is another Commission of Enquiry. Enough already!The recent intervention by the Minister of Energy, the Honourable Clive Mullings, following the growing complaints from angry JPS customers and the exorbitant bills that they have been receiving is welcomed. However, the Minister is barking up the wrong tree when he makes any reference to the holding of a Commission of Enquiry. What the JPS customers need are accurate billings that are reflective of their consumption – not for the ridiculous amounts that are evident on the bills! With respect, Mr. Minister, a Commission of Enquiry, at any time, will not solve the people’s problems.Currently, the Office of Utilities Regulations (OUR) mandate is to provide an avenue of Appeal for consumers who have grievances with the utility companies. We anxiously await the findings from their planned investigations. We are expecting that those findings will cause the JPS to offer a payment holiday, forthwith, to the affected customers; recall the present batch of new metres; certify the mechanics of any new metering devices; suspend any disconnection of services for the affected customers; formulate a new Customer Service Strategy which embraces the fundamental principle and adage that: “The Customer is Always Right”; and restore trust with the Jamaican people, even amidst their present monopolistic position in the industry. The conversation regarding an alternative Light & Power Company is current, live and real. At the end of the day, the people of Jamaica want to get value for money.EXERCISE FISCAL PRIDECNCE: The NYCJ calls on the Government to exercise fiscal prudence in the disbursement of scarce resources and show a sense of prioritization in the activities for which funds are earmarked. We are still of the view that more fiscal support can be given to the youth portfolio in general and entrepreneurial initiatives for young people. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), as the Government’s financial “watchdog”, so to speak, seems relatively inflexible in dealing with certain types of expenditures. Although the cost of holding a Commission of Enquiry may be a drop in the bucket compared with the retroactive salary payments, the onus is on the Government to reduce un-necessary spending.As a national youth-led organization, we will seek to engage our membership in exploring possible solutions; we will launch an energy-conversation campaign in communities and generally disseminate information regarding cutting energy costs.Press ReleaseNational Youth Council of Jamaicalast_img

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