Lights out for BPL board

Bahamas Power and Light Headquarters on Baillou Hill Road.

Board told to resign amidst tensions

A major shake up at the main power company on Tuesday, as the board at Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) was on Tuesday asked to resign, Eyewitness News understands.

The explosive news follows a myriad of challenges the company has faced in recent weeks, all highlighted by this news entity.

Sources close to the power company claimed the fall out with the board stemmed from, among other things, interference by the Ministry of Works in BPL’s daily operations.

Works Minister Desmond Bannister refused to comment on the issue when contacted for comment.

Additionally, sources allege that there was a lack of respect among board members, as there was unauthorized travel costing upwards of $20,000, as well as some obvious problems with the recent request for proposals (RFP) process for the new power plant at Clifton Pier,  which Eyewitness News reported about earlier.

Unions that represent line staff and managerial employees at BPL wrote chairman Darnell Osbourne about alleged mismanagement and expressed concern over the hiring of foreign consultants.

Eyewitness News also understands that the board has failed to handover documents requested by the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA).

When contacted for comment, Osbourne offered none, but said that she has always believed in good governance and true transparency.

Appearing on Beyond the Headlines (BTH) with host Clint Watson yesterday, Bahamas Electrical Worker’s Union (BEWU) President Paul Maynard said, he and the president of the managerial union, were called into a meeting Tuesday with Public Works Minister Desmond Bannister, who informed them that “the old board is gone and a new board will be in place by Friday.”

“I didn’t think it would be this drastic,” Maynard said.

According to Maynard, the first instance of things going awry for the power company was the fact that a consultant was brought in to supervise the staff over in Andros.

“I told my staff, “do not answer to him because he does not have the experience.”

Meantime, Opposition Leader Philip Davis issued a statement yesterday stating that he reached out to the country’s Prime Minister to get to the bottom of said decision.

Davis’ release read, “the news comes at a time when the company’s power generating capacity is collapsing nationwide.”

He continued, “…this latest news simply confirms that the governmnet does not have a plan for power generation for this country.”