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URCA’s town hall meetings promise open conversations with the public

Shared discussions on utility structure, consumer impact and alternative energy solutions are among a few of the initiatives planned for the community as the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) invites the general public to join its town hall meeting on Wednesday, April 10th, 2019 at the Choices Restaurant on the University of The Bahamas campus, beginning at 6:00 p.m.

The forum, which will house several representatives from URCA, promises to allow open conversations on URCA’s rollout plans for the year and the effects it would have to consumers.

Wanting a more “valuable” and “active” participation from its community, URCA wants the meeting to allow the public a full exchange on matters that may affect them in the months and year to come. Discussions over electricity, telecommunications, broadcasting content regulation as well as an “URCA goes green” project are all expected to be on the agenda, as the board opens up about their strategies for the future.

“URCA’s mission statement, ‘Improving lives through effective Utilities Regulation’ is something we all take very seriously,” said Mavis Johnson-Collie, URCA corporate and consumer relations manager. “Regulatory measures are predominantly to ensure better, quality and affordable services for consumers. Our work seeks to ensure that there is a level playing field for all providers in the regulated sectors and that consumers have choice.”

While URCA is set to outline the full scope of their annual plan for consumers, representatives are also calling for a more interactive meeting, seeking transparency between the larger public. “To be effective and relevant in our work, public and consumer engagement is a must,” added Collie.

“We need to hear from our stakeholders about what is important to them; what is working and what is not; which services are beneficial and or need improvement.”

“One way of doing this is through stakeholder engagement. These town hall meetings do just that. They allow us to meet with consumers, a key stakeholder, and speak face to face with them about the electronic communications and electricity sectors” she noted. “ So we really hope the public will take advantage of these opportunities to come out and speak to some critical projects we have scheduled for 2019.”

Wednesday’s town hall meeting at the University of The Bahamas will serve as one in a series of nation-wide public consultations set by URCA. The event is set to feature a dynamic panel of board members and speakers and will be broadcasted via live stream from URCA’s Facebook page.

URCA’s board also plans to spearhead engagements throughout the month on additional islands including Abaco on April 17th, and in Marsh Harbour and Grand Bahama in May, with pop-up shops in outlying communities.

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