EDITOR, The Tribune.
Re: Letter to the Editor Published October 26, 2015
I read with regret Felicity L Johnson’s letter to the editor published today (entitled “Misuse of URCA”) which cast serious aspersions on the integrity of URCA as an independent regulator and on the bona fides of its Board in making a donation to the victims of hurricane Joaquin.
While Ms Johnson is, of course, free to publicly question the actions of URCA on any matter, I consider it appropriate and necessary to correct certain factual inaccuracies made by Ms Johnson in her letter.
Ms Johnson’s letter speculates that someone in the Office of the Prime Minister “went looking to see who they could influence into donating urgently needed monies to NEMA...and, of course, the first line of sight was the self-sustaining financially independent coffers of URCA”. This assertion is entirely untrue and deeply offensive.
Contrary to her assertions, URCA’s donation to the hurricane relief efforts was entirely conceived and determined by URCA, without any external influence by any person. The donation was initiated on October 5th, 2015 when, following Board discussions on the matter, Mrs Kathleen Riviere Smith, URCA’s Chief Executive Officer, advised BTC that URCA was minded to use the outstanding part of the fine to benefit victims of hurricane Joaquin.
URCA considers this to be in furtherance of its mandate to promote access to electronic communications, and consistent with URCA’s already expressed intent for the fine to directly benefit consumers. On that basis, URCA decided to pay the funds to the government’s hurricane relief efforts, and advised the Prime Minister accordingly.
At all times in making and implementing its decision, URCA acted independently, in a manner consistent with its mandate and objectives, and in the best interest of the public in The Bahamas.
We strongly refute the statements and allegations made by Ms Johnson in this regard.
RANDOL M A DORSETT
October 26, 2015.