The cash-strapped Barbados Water Authority (BWA) is making another attempt to not compensate customers for its failure to meet certain standards.
A year after it successfully received an exemption from the Fair Trading Commission (FTC), the BWA said it was again applying for a “suspension of the standards of service decision 2018 – 2020”.
Under the guaranteed and overall service metrics implemented in January 2018, the utility company is expected to give customers financial compensation if it breaches any of the guaranteed standards.
In a notice of application dated September 18, 2020, the FTC said the BWA, by application dated August 4, had applied for suspension of the standards of service “in light of the COVID-19 pandemic on its operations.
The notice did not specify the length of time the BWA was seeking the suspension for.
“This application may result in the suspension of the Commission’s Standards of Service Decision 2018–2020 for the period requested by the BWA or such other period as the Commission may determine,” it added.
People wishing to comment on the application are able to do so by submitting written comments on or before Friday, October 9, 2020.
Exactly a year ago, the FTC had determined that based on the water utility company’s financial circumstances, it was in no position to pay customers and had therefore granted the suspension of standards of service.
Based on findings then, the BWA was hard-pressed to fix between 800 and 1,200 ruptured pipes each month, which were compounded due to challenges resulting from the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) programme.