ACC Finds no Evidence of Corruption
Anti-Corruption Commission finds no evidence of corruption allegation made by ex-MD of ERA and new RFP for 36MW of firm power results in bids.
The ERA is pleased to report that the Cayman Islands Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), chaired by the Commissioner of Police, has concluded its investigation into the allegations made over a year ago by the ex- Managing Director (MD) of the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA), Mr. Joey Ebanks and given a verdict that the allegations were completely unfounded. The allegations revolved around a competitive solicitation for firm power run by the ERA between 2012 and 2013 and suggested, amongst other complaints, that the bid process may have been subject to corruption in the form of bribery.
The allegations were made following Mr. Ebanks’ suspension from his post by the Governor in Cabinet after apparent improprieties in Mr. Ebanks’ conduct as MD were brought to light by the Office of the Auditor General. Mr. Ebanks subsequently pled guilty to a number of offences and is currently serving a prison sentence. At the time, the ERA Board of Directors (BoD) promised the public that it would commission an independent review of the solicitation process to determine if there had been any wrong-doing. When the ACC, acting through the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, subsequently initiated a parallel investigation, the ERA BoD resolved to let the ACC investigation also inform it as to whether anything had gone wrong in the bid process. The ACC, with the full cooperation of the ERA, has completed a thorough investigation of the previous bid process and specifically the allegations of impropriety made by the ex-MD and concluded that the allegations were completely without merit.
In the wake of the spurious allegations made by the ex-MD and as a result of unavoidable and unforeseen delays and various timelines not being able to be achieved, the ERA had no choice but to cancel the previous solicitation process in July 2013. The ERA subsequently issued a new Request for Proposals (RFP) in response to a new Certificate of Need issued by Caribbean Utilities Company (CUC), the exclusive Transmission & Distribution Licensee on Grand Cayman. This new RFP was issued to 5 pre-qualified bidders plus CUC who is obligated under its Licence to bid. On May 12, 2014 the ERA received bids from three qualified bidders namely CUC, Dart Enterprises Real Estate Ltd. (DERE) and the Louis Berger Group (LBG). Between them these three bidders have submitted a total of 6 proposed firm power alternatives involving 4 different fossil fuels – namely liquefied propane gas (LPG), compressed natural gas (CNG), diesel oil (DO) and heavy fuel oil (HFO).
The ERA is pleased by the diversity of fuels in the qualified bidders' proposals, and by the variety of equipment options offered. The bidders have worked diligently to submit offers that seek to meet the need for new firm power generation, and the ERA values their efforts. The ERA looks forward, with the assistance of its consultant, ICF International, to ensuring that the bids meet the threshold requirements, and to then evaluating them in accordance with the detailed criteria set out in the RFP in order to select the solution that best meets Grand Cayman customer’s needs. The ERA has set a July 2014 target date for completion of its evaluation, and the new generation would come on line in 2016.
For more information please visit the ERA website at www.caymanera.ky