The Public Utilities Commission, (PUC) yesterday, commissioned its spanking new office, in the upper flat of the Linden Enterprise Network building, on Republic Avenue, Linden. PUC’s Chairperson, Dela Britton; Minister Cathy Hughes and other officials at the commissioning yesterday Cutting the ceremonial ribbon to declare the facility officially opened, was Minister of Public Telecommunications Catherine Hughes, who also delivered the feature address. Hughes said that the commissioning of the PUC office in Linden is part of the much larger plan that Government has put in place to decentralize its services. “We want to make sure that we can bring an array of Government and other services, closer to communities closer to citizens….we would say right in your backyard! ” The Minister pointed out, that no longer would persons have to take time out from work, and travel long distances and incur significant expense, just to lodge a simple complaint. “Now you have your own office right here, to protect you and to help you deal with the challenges that sometimes occur. “So fellow Guyanese I want you to appreciate the fact that those days are behind you, and that right here in Linden there will always be someone to look after you when you visit the PUC Office.” Minister Hughes encouraged Lindeners to embrace the new facility as their own. She explained that “the PUC is here to regulate our utilities, including water, electricity and telecommunication services. This is to ensure that they offer an efficient, quality service to consumers at a reasonable cost.” The PUC, she said, ensures that these companies operate according to acceptable international standards, ensuring that the consumer is always protected. The Minister added, that residents can rest assured, that their complaints would be dealt with in an efficient and transparent manner, and if necessary, financial compensation could be made. President of the Linden Chamber of Industry, Commerce and Development, Victor Fernandes, said that establishing the facility in Linden, is a plus to the community, as sometimes residents become frustrated, over issues they have no control over. “So we are happy today for the privilege of having this office here.” Fernandes alluded to some of the services offered in Linden, especially with regard to internet connectivity, and questioned, whether he was getting value for money expended, on this vital service. Chairperson of the PUC, Dela Britton, said that part of the PUC’s ethos, is to ensure that they are supporting communities, wherever they have offices, and using what is good in the community. “It gives me pride therefore, to share with you, that beautiful PUC signage, on the front of this building and the furniture, which now adorns this office, which were all constructed and assembled in Linden, by Lindeners.” Britton said that “in 1990, as part of an agreement between the Government of Guyana, and the new Guyana telephone and telegraph Company (GTT) provision was made (and I quote) to establish an independent sanitary body to regulate the operations of Companies and all persons engaged in providing Telecommunication services in Guyana.” Later other utilities such as water and electricity came under that umbrella. The PUC ensures that telecommunications, water and electricity tariffs are fair and non-discriminatory. It monitors the companies’ performance and protects consumers’ interest. Among those in attendance at the simple ceremony were CEO of Digicel, Gregory Deane, and former CEO of GTT, Yog Mahadeo.
Adapted from Kaieteur News