JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) has embarked on a series of island-wide consultations, aimed at building awareness about the work of the agency in ensuring quality service from utility companies and other service providers.
  • The year-long outreach series dubbed ‘Parish Connections’ is targeted at consumers in under-served rural parishes.
  • It involves partnership with the Consumer Advisory Committee on Utilities, the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC), and service providers such as the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPS), National Water Commission (NWC), LIME, Digicel and Flow.

The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) has embarked on a series of island-wide consultations, aimed at building awareness about the work of the agency in ensuring quality service from utility companies and other service providers.

The year-long outreach series dubbed ‘Parish Connections’ is targeted at consumers in under-served rural parishes.

It involves partnership with the Consumer Advisory Committee on Utilities, the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC), and service providers such as the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPS), National Water Commission (NWC), LIME, Digicel and Flow.

Speaking at the official launch held on March 9, at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston, Director General of the OUR, Albert Gordon, said it is expected that the outreach series will garner a better understanding of the perceptions and priorities of consumers.

“The Parish Connections will seek to increase the information level of consumers, thereby allowing them to play a more active role in ensuring that they are getting value from service providers as we move forward,” he said.

Mr. Gordon informed that an island-wide survey was conducted recently, which found that only 79 percent of respondents were aware of the OUR and while the majority of respondents viewed the agency as helpful and professional, consumers did not feel that the OUR was communicating enough with them.

“We feel that it is critical for us to connect with consumers to discuss their needs, issues and concerns, given the many challenges facing the different sectors, even as we continue to inform them about their rights and responsibilities,” Mr. Gordon said.

The first set of consultations/outreach meetings are being staged in Westmoreland and Hanover with the first meeting held in Negril on March 5. Others will be held at the Grange Hill High School in Westmoreland on March 11; Grand Palladium Hotel in Hanover on March 12; and at the Sean Lavery Faith Centre in Westmoreland,  also on March  12.