The International Confederation of Energy Regulators (ICER) held a Steering Committee meeting in Lima, Peru on October 21, 2019. The Organisation of Caribbean Utility Regulators (OOCUR) is a member of ICER and its Chairman, Mr. Clayton Blackman, Commissioner of the Regulated Industries Commission (RIC), Trinidad and Tobago attended the meeting. The main objectives of the meeting were
1. Commence planning for the World Forum on Energy Regulation (WFER) VIII scheduled to be held in March 2021 in Lima, Peru
2. To approve and sign the amended ICER Statutes. Mr. Blackman signed on OOCUR’s behalf. OOCUR was one of the several Regional Regulatory Associations (RRAs) and ICER members in attendance at the meeting in Lima.
OOCUR and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) co-sponsored a workshop on “Grant Funding Proposal Writing and Development” held at the Hilton Barbados Resort from October 28 – November 1, 2019. OOCUR member, the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) Barbados was the on the ground coordinator for the workshop. The Caribbean Policy Development Centre (CPDC) facilitated the week-long workshop.
Utility Regulators from Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago, and Turks & Caicos Islands attended the workshop. The workshop was interactive and engaging with many practical exercises. OOCUR continues to provide training and development opportunities for Caribbean utility regulators.
One of the outstanding pioneers of utilities regulation in the region, ‘J.P.’, who was 72, presided over a host of landmark regulatory decisions in the water and sewerage, electricity and telecommunications sectors.
He was Director-General from 2002 to 2008 and prior to that, was Deputy Director-General from 1997 to 2002, serving alongside OUR’s first Director-General, Mr. Winston Hay. He was a member of the OUR’s Preparation Unit set up in 1995 to establish the new, multi-sector regulator. A strong advocate of consumer empowerment through knowledge and regulatory mechanisms such as the Guaranteed Standards, he insisted on a commensurate allocation of resources to consumer issues as that which obtained for regulating the service providers.
This resulted in increased public education activities and heightened consumer awareness about the OUR and its mandate. J.P. directed the implementation of the first tariff regime for the privatized Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPS), introducing the price cap regime to ensure that the company continually made efficiency improvements, with the benefits of those gains being passed to the consumers. He also presided over the implementation of a Disaster Recovery Fund as part of the JPS tariff structure, which has so far averted the need for JPS to resort to rate payers after a disaster.
Under his leadership, more private water providers were brought on board to serve specified geographic areas as part of the drive to achieve the Government’s policy of Universal Access to Potable Water. He was also at the OUR during the liberalization of the telecommunications industry and played a pivotal role in the development of the legal and regulatory framework that would govern the introduction of new players into that market. J.P. made his mark outside of Jamaica, serving in various other regulatory capacities regionally and internationally.
He was a foundation member of the Organization of Caribbean Utility Regulators (OOCUR) and served that body in many capacities including as Chairman. Notably, he became the first and only Jamaican to be elected Chairman of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO), a position he held until the end of his tenure with OUR.
He was also an executive member of Latin American Energy Organization (Olade). After leaving the OUR, J.P. served as an independent consultant and advisor on regulatory policy in the ICT, electricity and water sectors regionally and internationally.
In January 2017, he was appointed the first Chief Executive Officer of the Utility Regulation and Competition Office of the Cayman Islands, after being the consultant for the establishment of that body.
He also served as a Board Member and was on occasion, Deputy Chairman of the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) in the Bahamas, up to the time of his passing.
Reacting to Mr. Morgan’s passing, OUR’s Director-General, Ansord E. Hewitt, said, “Jamaica, and indeed the wider Caribbean, has lost one of its foremost authorities on utilities regulation. His vast experience and depth of knowledge has contributed significantly to the development of utilities regulation and it is therefore no surprise that he has lent his expertise in various capacities to so many organisations in the region.
He had an easygoing demeanor, was most affable and was an astute judge of character and talent. I have had the immense privilege of working directly with him for ten (10) years at the OUR and for another decade in the region and internationally. He made a seminal contribution to my own professional development. To his wife Janice and his children, we express our sincerest condolences.”
J. Paul Morgan