Chairman of the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) Tammy Bryan has recused herself from participating in the Barbados Light and Power’s application for a review of electricity rates.
Although not giving a reason for her decision to step aside from the upcoming hearings, she said in a statement that “certain information has come to light which caused the FTC and myself to seek legal advice”.
According to Bryan, a comprehensive due diligence process revealed that she had no interest in BL&P and was therefore not required to provide any disclosure under the Fair Trading Commission Act or at all.
“I am further advised that the ‘fair-minded and informed observer’ would not conclude that there is apparent bias on my part. This view has been confirmed by independent legal opinions that were sought, including an opinion sought by the FTC,” she added.
However, Bryan said she opted to step aside, despite the legal opinions, to allow the Commission to do its work.
“As Chairman, I have a responsibility to ensure that the public has full confidence in the work and decisions of the FTC as it discharges its duty under the law. For that reason, I have taken the decision to recuse myself from further participation in the BL&P’s application for a review of rates,” she said.
The FTC’s Deputy Chairman Donley Carrington will now chair the panel hearing the application for the review of rates.
BL&P is seeking a hike in basic rates that represents an increase of $46.5 million a year.
Under the rate hike, customers would pay an additional $2 per month if they use up to 150 kilowatts of electricity per hour, $4 per month more for consuming between 151 kwh and 500 kwh, and an extra $6 if their energy usage exceeds 500 kwh a month. (SD/PR)