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The audit of the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) Company’s billing practices, which was ordered by the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) in 2005, should get underway by March 1 and should last for six to eight weeks, said OUR Director General, J. Paul Morgan.
According to Mr. Morgan, the hitches delaying the start of the audit have been cleared up.
He was addressing the St. James leg of the OUR’s series of public meetings called ‘Parish Days’ on February 17 at the Wexford Court Hotel in Montego Bay.
The call for the audit arose in the aftermath of a number of JPS billing issues that surfaced in the months immediately following the passage of Hurricane Ivan, which hit the island in September 2004.
The process should have been completed last December, but Mr. Morgan explained that difficulties arose in finalizing the contract with the selected consultant that would be carrying out the audit.
“Even as I speak, there are still one or two issues that we have to deal with before we can get started, but I am happy to say that the issues have now been reduced to being considered as minor and therefore I expect that in the next few days, they would have been sorted out, and the contractual arrangements would be completed. Once that is done, we will proceed post haste, and we hope to make a start on the 1st March on that audit”, he stated.
Pressed as to reasons for the failure to finalize the contract with the consultant, Mr. Morgan clarified that it was not a problem with the JPS. He explained that the problem arose out of the concerns from the consultant as to how exposed he might be in other business relationships, depending on what came out of the final report.
He noted that legal arrangements had to be put in place to make sure that the consultant was properly protected.
The OUR Director General said that the final audit report would be made public.