Proposed Restructuring/Redistribution of Responsibilities at BPL Could Result in Savings of More than $3 Million

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BEC pole worker.

NASSAU, The Bahamas – A proposed organizational restructuring of The Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) Company and a redistribution of responsibilities could lead to savings in excess of $3 million while also resulting in the advancement of seven Bahamians to key senior positions within the company.

Mr. Anthony Newbold, Press Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, said the proposed restructuring is also expected to “effect the required changes within the Corporation.”

The announcement comes on the heels of a presentation made by the newly appointed Board of Directors of The Bahamas Power and Light Company to Cabinet on the status of the company and the Board’s plans for the utility company going forward.

Board Chairperson, Ms. Darnelle Osbourne; Deputy Chairman, Mr. Patrick Rollins and Board Members Mr. Whitney Heastie, Mr. Deepak Bhatnagar, Mr. Ferron Bethel and Ms. Nicola Thompson were in attendance.

(Mr. Heastie has been appointed C.E.O. Ms. Christina Alston is the C.O.O)

Board members spoke to various aspects of BPL’s proposed Business Plan. The proposed new organizational structure will to be administered by a Chief Executive Officer (CEO), a Chief Operating Officer (COO) and a Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

Directors will be appointed under the COO portfolio and will be responsible for Generation Services, Transmission and Distribution, Family Island Operations, Technical Planning/Renewables and Procurement/Supply Chain.

“An additional five Directors with responsibility for Customer Service, Security/Investigations, Human Resources and Internal Communications, Health, Safety and Environment, and Information Technology, would report to the Chief Financial Officer. Some of those posts will be advertised,” Mr. Newbold said Tuesday (October 31, 2017) during his weekly Press Briefing held at the Office of the Prime Minister, Cecil Wallace Whitfield Centre.

“The redistribution of responsibilities would replace three expatriate employees with seven Bahamian employees at savings of $3.3 million. International benchmarks were followed in formulating that structure,” Press Secretary Newbold added.

Mr. Newbold said the Board of Directors of BPL have been meeting up to twice weekly for the past three months in developing a new plan for BPL and “had given much time and consideration in formulating plans to improve the management of the company.”

“The new Board was resolute and committed to managing the Corporation as a business and the plan proposed by the new BPL Board would restructure the organization to effectively manage the Corporation’s finances and assets.

“Towards that end, BPL Board Members anticipate that the plans to effect required changes within the Corporation would be implemented in the shortest possible time,” Mr. Newbold added.

Press Secretary Newbold said the Members of the Board also addressed short and long-term transmission and generation requirements.

“One of the goals of the BPL Board was to implement an automated meter system. However, many of the meters were antiquated. The Plan was to commence and advanced meter reading system. The Board is also dealing with outstanding financial concerns.”

Mr. Newbold reported that the BPL Board will investigate the environmental issues at the Clifton Power Plant to determine the magnitude of the problem before deciding how it would be addressed and at what cost.

“The BPL Board also recommended to the Cabinet, the need to amend the Electricity Act, the Rate Reduction Act and the Articles of Association document which became necessary as a result of new developments within BPL. An updated Business Plan is expected to be completed by October 31, 2017,” Press Secretary Newbold added.