Categorized | National News

Gov’t Told To Revoke URCA Appointment- Cable Should Withdraw Application

A local politician and community activist is calling on the government to not only revoke the appointment of Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) Chairman Randol Dorsett, but ultimately dismantle the regulatory body, which has been embroiled in a number of controversies over the years.

URCA was once again 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.

Former Democratic National Alliance (DNA) candidate Rodney Moncur said Mr. Dorsett, who once served as the attorney for Cable Bahamas, has found himself in a conflict of interest.

Mr. Dorsett was once Cable Bahamas’ attorney. However, that was prior to his URCA appointment. He remains a partner in the Graham Thompson law firm.

“He is a partner in Graham Thompson. Any profit and all payments which are derived from Cable Bahamas he is a beneficiary by virtue of his partnership. Of all the qualified persons in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, why would the prime minister choose Cable Bahamas’ lawyer to be the chairman of URCA. He should resign,” Mr. Moncur said yesterday in an interview with The Bahama Journal.

“When the former prime minister and the FNM established URCA, URCA was conceived in scandal and corruption. It has a history of that; it will continue to be so until such time as the prime minister dismantles it and establishes a new people’s commission divorced from special interests and those persons who have been working for the utilities companies.”

Mr. Moncur said the government should dismantle URCA and Cable Bahamas should either withdraw its application or it should be rejected.

“It is an insult to the intelligence of the black masses,” Mr. Moncur said. “One hundred years from today Bahamians will ask how it is that at 40 years as an independent country an attorney for business affected by URCA could be given the chairmanship of the regulatory body that governs such operations.”

“Indeed Prime Minister [Perry] Christie went to court to have certain senators who were appointed by the former FNM Government revoked as ‘independent senators’ in 2007 for similar reasons that these persons were conflicted out and their independence was a sham.”

Mr. Moncur continued, “How in 2012 the prime minister can assume that an intelligent electorate will not connect the dots between Mr. Dorsett’s appointments is beyond the scope of human understanding. Mr. Dorsett’s asinine assertions that he has since quit as the lawyer of record for Cable Bahamas and has passed the Cable Bahamas client case to another lawyer in the law firm of which he is a partner is in and of itself sufficient to demand his immediate resignation.”

Mr. Moncur said for Mr. Dorsett to say that he would recuse himself from matters where he is conflicted is a “further disservice to the Bahamian people as we want a URCA that is accountable, transparent and like Caesar’s wife above suspicion.”

In fact, Mr. Moncur said Mr. Dorsett’s admission that he will recuse himself on certain issues is “recklessly irresponsible.”

Mr. Moncur said the prime minister must demonstrate that he is in charge and is not pandering to the special interests of certain law firms.

“The Bahamas is bigger than the special interests and lobbyists that will be served if Mr. Dorsett continues in this position. The prime minister must do the right thing – now. Bahamians have already begun to wonder aloud as to how a government can so blatantly disrespect our common sense as manifest in this appointment.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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