Hikes on BEC CONTINUES…
In September 2003 the FNM Party welcomed the new BEC rates announcement made by Perry Christie PLP Government but was quick to claim that this dividend was made possible only by the stewardship provided to the Corporation during the FNM’s two consecutive terms in office.
Phenton Neymour and Earl Deveaux were both sound asleep at the wheel during the record oil price crisis (when Oil was at $147 per barrel) and allowed the Corporation to fully absorb Custom Duty & Stamp Tax on BEC Oil Imports which the Corporation was unable to bear as a result of the sharp spike in oil and is the major reason BEC finds itself with one foot on the banana peel and the other in the proverbial grave
After realizing the seriousness of their folly, the FNM set out on a plan to lay the blame of the serious damage caused by their own failure to pass on the cost of the sharp increase in oil prices with the shameless bogus claim that the reduction in rates in 2003 was the reason.
The FNM refused to accept the folly of being caught asleep at the wheel, and then engaged a number of consultants to justify their claim of blaming the 2003 rate reduction as being the reason for BEC financial woes. These reports and the associate cost were never tabled in the House of Assembly despite repeated requests by the Official Opposition. We note that some of the reports were selectively given to the Tribune.
On several occasions in the past Jr Minister Neymour has quoted from the various consultants reports in Parliament and in press statements so what was outlined in the statement of yesterday by its political Chairman Moss is a continuation of the same FNM propaganda.
The FNM appointed Consultant Fichtner report as published in the Tribune on March 17th 2011 in part warned that the lack of rules and policies for BEC employees to follow, coupled with the minimal risk of punishment for indiscipline and other infractions, was undermining the state-owned power monopoly.
Noting the constant intervention in BEC’s internal affairs by the responsible government minister through the Board chairman, the Fichtner report said the Corporation was suffering from “a fuzzy management framework” due to the absence of rules and regulations setting out the relationship/functions of government, Board and management.
“This pattern, practiced on the oversight level, inevitably extends down into the enterprise and shapes the way the enterprise’s management and operations are conducted,” the report said.
“It creates an atmosphere of uncertainty and lacking perspective.
“The consequences are…….. serious deficiencies in the management methods, entailing lack of conclusive and effective reporting; instruction; performance control and sanctioning mechanisms in BEC which, together with other factors, substantially hampers the enterprise in performing in a way that existing resources would permit.
“The applied ways and procedures are rather informal. Circumvention of agreed processes is frequent; non-compliance does not inevitably entail consequences. The absence of strict rules and directions, in conjunction with low risk of sanctions jeopardizes accountability of the employees.”
The effect of what appears to be a state of ‘near anarchy’ internally at BEC is brought into stark relief by Fichtner
The FNM’s record of massive mismanagement of BEC has manifested itself with the constant blackouts during the past three summers resulting in damages to consumers appliances and equipment. As a result of mismanagement the FNM imposed higher electricity rates on the backs of struggling Bahamians. The FNM purchase its fuel at spot prices (which is the most expensive way to purchase) in contrast to forward contracting during the PLP governance.
The peoples of Abaco are well aware of the disgraceful and shameless bungling by Deveaux, Neymour and Moss over the endless installation of the New Abaco Power Plant with substantial cost overruns and four consecutive summers of misery which negatively impacted Abaco Tourism. This Abaco Plant will stands for many years as living monument to the gigantic mismanagement of BEC by the FNM.
For almost five years there has been much talk by FNM Ministers of alternative energy but there has no been any tangible evidence of relief save and except the delivery of a few energy saving bulbs. The next PLP Government will bring closure to all the talk and move quickly to introduce measures to positively impact BEC consumers.
The PLP again demands that the outgoing FNM Government table without further delay the many consultant reports on BEC commissioned during the past four years together with details of implementation of the recommendations and the Audited Financial Statements for BEC for the year ended September 30th 2011.