News

Senate committee cites breach in transfer of public transport regulation from OUR

BY BALFORD HENRY Senior Staff reporter balfordh@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, August 06, 2014    

Print this page Email A Friend!


THE regulations committee of the Senate has cited a breach in the way Government handled the transfer of regulation of public transportation from the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) to the Transport Authority (TA).

The committee said that

the lack of consultation constituted "an unusual or unexpected use of the powers conferred by the (Office of Utilities Regulation) under which it was made".

The committee has, therefore, recommended that the regulation -- which was based on an order issued by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller in June -- should be brought to the "special attention" of the Senate pursuant to the Standing Orders for its consideration.

The committee said that it was concerned about the report that the OUR was not included in the consultations leading up to the decision, and made it clear that "even though there was no evidence that there were any legislative breaches the entity, as the economic regulator, should have been consulted".

Opposition senators who thoroughly opposed the Government's decision to transfer regulatory authority from the beginning also issued a minority report, which agreed with the conclusion, but accused the Government's majority of failing to expose all the excesses in the committee's hearings.

The House of Representatives has already approved the order, which was gazetted in June, transferring regulation of the public transportation sector from the jurisdiction of

the OUR.

Public transport operators, who are battling the Government in court over the right of its Transport Authority to regulate the sector while it was still under the authority of the OUR, denounced the move.

The criticisms were reinforced by a declaration at the meeting of the House of Representatives regulations committee in July to discuss the matter, when legal counsel for the OUR, Cheryll Lewis, reported that the first time the regulatory body became aware of this move, was in an article carried by the Jamaica Observer.

She pointed out that the OUR had extensive discussions over the years with the Transport Authority and the Ministry of Transport and other stakeholders and settled on a position that the OUR would be the economic regulator to fix fares for the transport sector.

ADVERTISEMENT

POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

 

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper – email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

Will the new Police Commissioner make a difference in reducing Jamaica's high crime rate?
Yes
No


View Results »


ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT