Stricter monitoring for public utility companies on stream
Two new Commissioners were on Wednesday sworn in to serve on the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for the next three years.
Dr. Leyland Marvin Lucas and Ms. Verlyn Eleanor Klass took the Oath of Office before President David Granger, bringing the PUC to its full complement.
“Now that the Commission has been bolstered with new members, we can certainly get the job done in a more efficient manner because as you would imagine, in the last four months I couldn’t make any decisions because we did not have the full complement,” Chair of the Commission, Dela Britton said in an interview after the swearing ceremony.
One of the commissioners replaced Mr. Morris Solomon who demitted office in 2018 after serving between 12 to 15 years. The other commissioner is taking up a post which has been vacant since 2017.
Among the top priorities of the Commission going forward is the introduction of stricter methods to monitor the utility companies–the Guyana Water Incorporated, the Guyana Power and Light Company and the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company.
“We are certainly going to look and see how we can use technology that we have installed in our offices to certainly aid in that monitoring,” Britton said.
She added that the Commission is also “looking at ways to have the consumer report to us as to any faults so that we can certainly address them and expand our services.”
According to the PUC Act, each of the Commissioners serve for three years after which they’re eligible for reappointment.
The Commission has the authority to conduct investigations into the operations and standards of service of any public utility company.
The PUC is currently engaged in an aggressive awareness campaign to promote the services it offers. During the previous outreaches, the agency said complaints were received relating to billings, internet service, water connections, poor quality of service offerings and applications for service.
Consumers are encouraged to visit the agency’s 106 New Garden Street, Queenstown, Georgetown offices and lodge complaints.
The Commission in a statement said in 2018 it received 563 complaints relating to GPL, GWI and Digicel and GT&T. With respect to resolved matters, the Commission received $11,086,086 on behalf of consumers.