(CMR) The Utility Regulation and Competition Office (OfReg) has found that service provider FLOW breached its’ license terms twice by increasing its rates for business line customers without obtaining approval and then withholding quarterly reports from the regulator.
A previous statement from OfReg in September 2022 reported that FLOW admitted breaching the terms of its licence by not seeking regulatory approval. This was confirmed by recently concluded investigations.
In an enforcement notice issued to FLOW in late April 2023, OfReg presented evidence that determined FLOW had not followed the appropriate process prior to increasing its’ business line customer rates, in breach of its license. The final determination confirms that FLOW increased its’ rates from $30 to $34.99 from January 2019 to April 2022 without approval to do so.
Additionally, the findings of the investigation also highlighted a second breach relating to FLOW’s non-compliance with its obligation to provide data to the regulator as part of a quarterly data reporting requirement.
The determination confirms that shortly after OfReg notified FLOW that it was aware of the apparent breach, FLOW stopped providing the regulator with mandatory reports containing details on its business line customers. These reports were routinely submitted in previous quarters.
In addition to the determination setting out findings in relation to the breaches, FLOW was also issued with a notice regarding the imposition of fines.
“The law and the people of the country expect that all utility operators must comply with their license obligations. My team is focused on ensuring the fullest compliance at all times, and where necessary, we will take fair and firm enforcement action. This determination is one part of ongoing compliance work supported by our Interim CEO and Board,” Executive Director for the telecommunications sector Sonji Myles said.
According to Interim CEO Peter Gough, “OfReg will continue to investigate all and any reported or perceived compliance violations by licensees in all utility sectors to ensure that consumers are protected, competition is fair and quality of service is first class.”
“Our commitment to full compliance is strongly supported by our Hon. Minister J. Ebanks, and is absolutely necessary to protect consumers, critical national utilities infrastructure, and the economy. As the independent regulatory authority responsible for safeguarding consumer interests and promoting a level playing field within the industry, OfReg is committed to ensuring that all service providers adhere to the highest standards,” he added.