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BEC chairman blamed for financial problems

By SANCHESKA BROWN

Tribune Staff Reporter

sbrown@tribunemedia.net

BAHAMAS Electrical Workers Union President Paul Maynard yesterday blamed BEC chairman Leslie Miller for the corporation’s current financial problems.

Speaking with The Tribune, Mr Maynard said that Mr Miller, not the union, is the reason BEC is still operating at a loss. In fact, he said, Mr Miller is more concerned about being “popular” by keeping lights on rather than doing what is right for the corporation.

“Mr Miller thinks that he runs BEC from top to bottom. If he would allow BEC’s customer service representatives to function properly things would be fine. He keeps running back and forth telling the staff to turn customers lights on when they are turned off.

“Everyone who cries to him about their lights being off he orders the staff to turn it back on and these people aren’t paying anything and then the staff is scared to turn it back off because Mr Miller does not know how to speak to his staff,” he said.

“Some of these people owe $5,000 and we are ordered to turn their lights back on. He keeps interfering with the day-to-day running of BEC and that should not be. That is why everything is out of whack, he needs to sit his hip down and let people do their jobs. If he would allow the Customer Service reps to function as they are supposed to function everything would be fine.

“But he is a jackass and his behaviour is boorish and unbecoming of a father and grandfather. He needs to interact with the staff and not attack the staff, but he does what he wants at no consequence.”

Last week, Mr Miller blamed customers’ high electricity bills on the employees. He said the corporation paid out $129,000 last week to customer service representatives that were placed on a shift system, some of whom, he said, are making $89,000 a year.

However, Mr Maynard said it is Mr Miller’s fault the corporation had to pay the money because he is the one that decided to implement the shift system.

He said: “He came in here and decided he didn’t want to pay any more overtime, so he put them on a roster. According to our contract, you have to pay an employee an extra $75 a week, if you want them to work a shift. The reason the corporation paid out all that money last week is because Mr Miller refused to pay the money he owed in the first place, so that was back pay.

“The real reason BEC is having problems as well is because the corporation owes $130 million to Shell West. It is the fuel that has BEC in a crisis, not the employees. Blue Hill uses diesel compared to Clifton that uses bunker sea and that is expensive.”

According to Mr Miller, BEC is on course to lose up to $30 million this year.

Comments

birdiestrachan 8 years, 7 months ago

That is true he should not put those Customer services people on a over time shift and then complain when the company has to pay over time. Persons who come home after 5 and met their lights off. must have known they did not pay their bill. Most of us can not afford Air condition.. and we must accept that fact.

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ThisIsOurs 8 years, 7 months ago

Sigh. It is not "overtime". They are working a regular eight hour day. The start of their day is simply not 9AM, it might be 11AM or 10AM. He implemented the shift system to ELIMINATE overtime...

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sheeprunner12 8 years, 7 months ago

Where is the leadership at BEC???????? Where is the general manager who is probably paid a 6 figure salary to run the corporation?????????? Leslie is a politician NOT a CEO of a quasi-government corporation.............. SMT. This is preposterous!!!!!!!!!!!

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Honeybun 8 years, 7 months ago

Exactly does BEC even have a general manager? Where the hell is he?

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sheeprunner12 8 years, 7 months ago

Yes, his name is Kevin Basden ................. holllllllllllllaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!

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birdiestrachan 8 years, 7 months ago

Sheep Runner I agree with you 100%

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sheeprunner12 8 years, 7 months ago

What do these corporation executives do????????????? I hear more school principals speaking than these well paid CEOs............. SMH

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Reality_Check 8 years, 7 months ago

Miller and the BEC union leaders deserve each other, but unfortunately both seem hell bent on running BEC into the ground. BEC needs to be privatized asap, but not by allowing any of the politicians or their well-established business cronies to have a direct or indirect interest in the ownership or management of the privatized entity. AND NOT BY GRANTING A MONOPOLY OF ANY KIND OVER THE POWER GENERATION AND POWER DISTRIBUTION NEEDS OF OUR COUNTRY. Properly regulated healthy competition is what we will need to drive down the current outrageously high electricity bills we are all experiencing.......I'm not sure URCA with its current Chairman will be up to the task of providing the necessary regulation as free as possible of political interference and intervention which will be absolutely vital to enabling the efficiencies of private ownership to produce maximum benefit for the Bahamian people.

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B_I_D___ 8 years, 7 months ago

From the other paper...he owes roughly a quarter million dollars to BEC through his various businesses. Yet they still have power...Glass houses Mr. Miller...glass houses!!

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sheeprunner12 8 years, 7 months ago

Yep.................... do as I say, not as I do. Typical Bahamian male waps

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Purcell 8 years, 7 months ago

The only way to solve the waste is to sell off BEC.

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Cornel 8 years, 7 months ago

The problems were there long before Miller arrived. The whole corporation needs to be streamlined from top to bottom. $75 a week extra because you work a shift? You gotta be kidding. You need to get rid of all of this and make sure that people pay theirs bills. You can not run a company like this when you are owed so much money .

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Tarzan 8 years, 7 months ago

From one who must enjoy pounding his head against a brick wall, once again:

Nothing will ever change about the corruption, inefficiency or the poor service provided by BEC so long as it is a government owned operation. Governments are incapable of running businesses. Period, Amen!

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gangof4 8 years, 7 months ago

I would agree with you 99% of the time, particularly re: corruption and inefficiency. However, when I have to experience the absolutely p**s poor service offered by our (recently privatized) telecommunications provider everyday...........!!

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shortpants 8 years, 7 months ago

SOLD TO CHINA :They already buy us out .

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John 8 years, 7 months ago

BEFORE LESLIE Miller came to B.E.C as chairman there were over 6,000 (SIX THOUSAND) consumers whose power were shut off. So since they were consuming no power, they were contributing no revenue to B.E.C. DISCONNECTORS were coming around two and three times a month disconnecting consumers power who were less than $1,000 in arrears or less than 60 days in their billing cycle. They were doing this for their own financial gain, and not for the benefit of the consumer or for B.E.C's revenue. These disconnectors were making $25.00 for every connection/disconnection and some who had barely finished high school were taking home upwards of $100,000.00 a year. They caused many businesses to close down and many homemakers who could not find money week after week to pay B.E.C just decided to let their lights stay off. This made B.E.C's financial position deteriorate because it was losing the revenue of 6,000 consumers. At least persons who manage to pay B.E.C every month do not have to live in fear of having their power disconnected every other week

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SP 8 years, 7 months ago

Leslie Miller and Perry Christie are both certified jackass's according to the IDB.

The IDB offered a solar net metering solution to BEC & Christie that would have provided FREE SOLAR POWER to the 1000's of unemployed BEC disconnected customers and Christie said "no thanks, let them suffer in darkness".

They turn my power off for making payments 3 days late! Where do we go to sign up for the $5,000.00 BEC power credit?

Who the hell would expects more out of a "potcake" anyway?

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Cobalt 8 years, 7 months ago

"Who the hell would expect more out of a potcake????" The same stupid, jackass Bahamians who voted for him; that's who!!!

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John 8 years, 7 months ago

thas because y'all never experienced the loyality of a 'potcake' Since you despise Bahamians so much why don't you go back where you come from?

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Cobalt 8 years, 7 months ago

Listen jackass.... I was born in the Bahamas and I will be buried in the Bahamas. You read these posts, ignoring the premise of the message and then come to your own idiotic conclusions. You seem to not only have a comprehension problem, but an inferiority complex aswell. No I've never experienced the loyalty of the "potcake" Leslie Miller simply because I've never been in need of his loyalty. Unlike people like you, I pay my light bills on time and never require any underhanded deals or favors to keep my bills current. The so-called "loyalty" (correct spelling) that you speak of is nothing more than an over-generous act that places a heavier financial burden on consumers who pay their bills on time. Whenever your "potcake" minister does a favor for you (which you so ignorantly call loyalty), just remember that someone has to financially compensate for that. That's one of the major reasons why light bills are so high. Consumers are being charged double to compensate for illiterates like you who rely on the government for sustenance. Then you have the nerve to call it loyalty! This is the main reason why Leslie Miller is under the complete misapprehension that he can buy Bahamian support; the same way that he attempted to bribe the crisis center with $1000. If you, and other Bahamians like you were capable of standing on your own two financial feet, you wouldn't require any loyalty from a potcake like Leslie Miller. Stop relying on, depending on, blaming, and supporting political parties based upon favors and calling it loyalty. People like you are killing our country.

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John 8 years, 7 months ago

Thank God for free speech and those who abuse it!

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John 8 years, 7 months ago

While some people on this forum are using every opportunity to belittle and degrade Bahamians, you tend to wonder where they came from, why they are here and if they hate the Bahamians so much why don't they go back home. Everyone with a touch of common sense knows that Financial problems plagued B.E.C much of the F.N.M's five year term in office (if not all of it) and years before Leslie Miller went there as chairman. In fact it was under Hubert Ingraham's administration that 'experts' were brought in and they advised the government to go to a two week or weekly collection cycle, despite B.E.C being on a monthly billing cycle. This is when B.E.C. hired extra "disconnectors' to turn off consumers power every other week, and this is how the problem started with regular paying customers being disconnected as never before developed. After the newly hired 'disconnectors' had shut off all the problem accounts, they then started cutting off the power supply to regular paying customers. Two and three times a month. This was done for the purely selfish purpose of the 'disconnectors' earning their $25.00 every time they turned off someone's power. When Leslie Miller came to B.E.C some 6,000 consumers were dsconnected. With an average bill of $300.00 a month, this added up to $1.8 million in lost revenue for the corporation each month, or $21.6 million a year. Now unless the receivables of B.E.C has increased by more than $21.million since Leslie Miller took over or unless some other leakage has developed under his chairmanship how can you say Leslie Miller is responsible for the corporations losses? In fact if he did not cut out the massive double dipping and overtime expenses, and if the 6,000 consumers were left without power, the losses to the corporation would be near $60 million. We have foreigners running BTC/Cable and Wireless and they could not get the number of dropped calls down to the level it was before Cable and Wireless took over. If you go on the internet, basically every country in the world is having its economic challenges. Don't allow people to come here and belittle and degrade Bahamians and try to blame us for everything.

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sheeprunner12 8 years, 7 months ago

So when you criticize the way the politicians are manipulating the top management at BEC......... you are a hater???????????

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John 8 years, 7 months ago

when you throw 'rock' in a crowd, the one who holla is da one who get hit

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Reality_Check 8 years, 7 months ago

Christie's outright arrogance in appointing and continuing to support Miller as Chairman of BEC is only exceeded by his brain dead arrogance in ignoring the wishes of the Bahamian people as expressed in the outcome of the recent referendum he instigated at a cost to the Public Treasury well in excess of a million dollars. Christie has taken on a persona similar to that which Idi Amin had as the dictatorial President of Uganda....in fact Christie is even beginning to resemble Idi Amin in physical appearance. Amin's diseased brain eventually became mush, driving him to madness and in the process he inflicted the most cruel and inhumane treatment on the Ugandan people. Perhaps Christie's increasingly frequent episodes of irrationality can be attributed to a disease or other ailment. I remember well his recent silly attempt to have his cake and eat it to by trying to explain his position on a matter in a very self-confused episode in the House of Assembly wherein he maintained that Christie as PM was of one mind whereas Christie as Minister of Finance was of another mind and that, as a result, he was having great difficulty in making up his two minds! Yep, all certainly does not appear to be well upstairs for this man.

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John 8 years, 7 months ago

Are you saying all black people look alike?

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Cobalt 8 years, 7 months ago

Are you retarded or just having difficulty comprehending plain, old fashion, written English??? Did Reality_Check mention anything about black people??? Either you're just plain stupid, or you've got a serious color complex. Everything you post seems to be predicated on color, nationality, or some other form of inconsequential nonsense. We are all black Bahamians. And if there are white, green, purple, red, or even blue Bahamians posting comments, then those comments are welcomed aswell. You should go and see a counselor about your apparent inferiority complex. They may not be able to help you with your color, but maybe they can help you to enhance your brain.

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John 8 years, 7 months ago

So what color is Perry Christie? And what color is Idi Amin and where was he from? Now let me go back and see who else was mentioned in Reality_Check's post in a derogratory way .. and what color they were...no one! As for you, claiming to be black, you couldn't even paint your self black so save that one for the pigeons. Stop using me as a cover to spew your hate and venom against black people in general and black Bahamians in particular

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sheeprunner12 8 years, 7 months ago

Soooooooooooooo, what is the future for BEC?????????? Is it privatization with 2 separate entities or is it better government management with employees who are willing to fall in line with Bahamian fiscal realities???????? Right now its a mess and a burden on ALL of us.

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John 8 years, 7 months ago

There is a certain 'force' of countries operating under the premis that when you control a country's food supply and a country's energy supply then you control that country. Apply that thinking to the Bahamas then you can appreciate more the situation we are in. We produce very little food and all the fuel used to produce energy is imported.

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