Categorized | National News

PM Wants URCA To Regulate Gov’t Agencies

The prime minister has admitted that he wants the Utilities Regulations and Competition Authority (URCA) to regulate several government agencies.

Prime Minister Perry Christie told reporters yesterday that he wants the authority to regulate agencies such as the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) and the Water & Sewage Corporation (W&SC).

“We are in talks now with URCA about various issues,” he said.

“URCA regards itself as being an independent body and we want it to continue to operate as such. As we move forward, however, we want to ensure that we are able to have a certain objective of what they are supposed to be doing with regards to these different agencies. We want them to have an examination of all of these agencies and we want everyone under scrutiny.”

Mr. Christie said, however, that before this can happen, URCA has requested certain things from the government.

“We will reply to them and hopefully get the ball rolling with public sector reform,” he said.

URCA was recently thrust into the spotlight after it announced that Cable Bahamas Limited (CBL) had applied for a near 30 per cent price increase in monthly charges for its SuperBasic cable TV services.

Last month, political activist Rodney Moncur questioned URCA’s integrity and revealed at the time that URCA’s Chairman Randolph Dorsett acted as the lead attorney on the behalf of Cable Bahamas.

His bombshell announcement came during URCA’s public consultation town meeting on Cable Bahamas’ proposal for a 27 per cent or $8 increase in its SuperBasic cable package better known as REVTV prime.

“I am concerned about the integrity of URCA. Is URCA aware that Randy Dorsett is the lead attorney for Cable Bahamas,” he asked during the September meeting.

URCA’s panel, which consisted of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kathleen Riviere-Smith and Director of Policy Steven Burrow, did not reply for Mr. Moncur’s query.

Mr. Moncur was one of scores of Bahamians who lined up to express their outrage at Cable Bahamas’ suggestion that it should get an increase.

URCA plans to have another meeting in New Providence soon.

The regulator also plans to have town meetings in Abaco, Exuma, Long Island and Grand Bahama.

The consultation on Cable’s proposed increase will be open for public comment until October 19.

The consultative document is available on URCA’s website

Interested persons can also contact URCA by telephone 393-0234 or email them at

Written by Jones Bahamas

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