Guernsey's Regulator has serious failings

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Guernsey's Regulator has serious failings

Post by Dell on Thu 11 Nov 2010, 7:55 pm

The Regulatory Policy Institute has identified serious failings in the way Guernsey regulates its utilities.

An independent report was commissioned earlier this year following a requete to the States led by Deputy Dave Jones.

The Regulatory Policy Institute says that the system has worked effectively in the telecoms market - but that the OUR should aim to gradually remove formal price controls and develop competition.

However, they believe the regulatory system has not worked for Guernsey Post. They want issues surrounding the Universal Service Obligation to be addressed - potentially by taxing all postal companies to help subsidise Guernsey Post's delivery service.

Their assessment regarding Guernsey Electricity is that the regulatory system has failed in some key respects. They want an adjudication panel put in place to help deal with future issues. But they're also highlighting problems with the States' lack of a clear energy policy.

A spokesperson from Guernsey Electricity said, "Guernsey Electricity welcomes the report produced by the Regulatory Policy Institute and considers that it represents an opportunity for real and positive change in the way the island's utilities are supervised by the States of Guernsey."

They have also welcomed the consultation, and say they look forward to working constructively with all parties to design a revised regime which will deliver value to islanders and will contribute to the maintenance of secure, economic and sustainable supplies of electricity to the island.

A consultation will run until 24th December 2010. It is available online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/rpireview.

Commerce and Employment intend to bring their report to the States in early 2011.

Meanwhile the OUR has welcomed the report. 'The report supports the continuing need for independent regulation and proposes a number of key changes to help improve the overall system of regulation and corporate governance of the state-owned utility companies.

'We are pleased to see that the overall need for regulation and the value for money offered by OUR are recognised in the RPI report. The proposals in the report address some structural issues in the wider regulatory regime which I think all parties would agree can be improved,' said Director General John Curran.

'As we have seen in the past few months in the postal and electricity sectors, with open dialogue and a willingness to engage, significant progress can be made on key issues facing these utility sectors in Guernsey.

'The report presents recommendations on a package of initiatives which underlines the importance of a joined-up approach. We are pleased to see RPI have taken on a number of the recommendations we discussed with them and we will be working with the Commerce & Employment Department to further the aims of the report so that consumers continue to benefit from regulation,' said Mr Curran.

The report recommends the introduction of a competition law to enable the OUR to further continue the work it is already doing to reduce direct regulation and to target its work at key issues and proposals to address the appeals process by adapting the approach used by the OUR previously in the electricity sector. It also recommends the expansion of the opportunities for closer working with Jersey.

John Curran said: 'The opportunity to have closer working with Jersey has moved on significantly in the past few months and the proposed implementation of a competition law in Guernsey would greatly advance the opportunities to further strengthen this arrangement.'

From Channel TV.



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"Lovely Jubbly - Cushty - Rodney, you plonker - This time next year we'll be millionaires!" Dell Trotter
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