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Bpl Appoints New Board Of Directors

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

A NEW board of directors has been appointed at Bahamas Power and Light following its shock dissolution earlier this week.

Works Minister Desmond Bannister confirmed the new appointments in a statement on Friday.

Of the six posts vacated on Tuesday, board member Ferron Bethell has retained his post.

The statement read: “In accordance with the provisions of section 8 of the Electricity Act, the following appointments have been made to the Board of the Bahamas Electricity Corporation with immediate effect as at the 17th day of July, 2018: Chairman: Dr. Donovan Moxey; Deputy Chairman: Mr. Stephen Holowesko, members: Mr. James Moss, Mrs. Debra Wood, Mr. Ferron Bethell, and Mrs. Viana Gardiner.”

In a statement on Wednesday, Mr Bannister explained the nation’s electricity provider needed new leadership because the former board was “locked” in dispute on every critical issue at great cost to the company.

He said the relationship among board members had “deteriorated”, but added the appointment of a new board was not a negative reflection in any way of the achievements and integrity of the outgoing board.

Sources close to the matter told The Tribune the minister demanded the resignations from the remaining board members after three of them - vice chairman Patrick Rollins, Ferron Bethel and Whitney Heastie, BPL’s CEO – voluntarily resigned first. It was alleged the remaining three - Chairwoman Darnell Osborne, Nick Dean, and Nicola Thompson - further requested a meeting with the prime minister to air their concerns.

It is unclear what became of this purported meeting.

In an interview with The Tribune on Tuesday, one ex-board member who spoke on the condition of anonymity, pinned issues on Ms Osborne’s leadership.

Ms Osborne rejected those allegations telling The Tribune her record spoke for itself, but declined to speak to the resignations or what caused them.

“I am a champion for good corporate governance, transparency and accountability,” Ms Osborne said in response to questions from The Tribune on Tuesday. “My record speaks for itself. I work on behalf of the Bahamian people and transparency and accountability is how I conduct business.”

She maintained that claims to the contrary were part of an effort to “spin” the true picture of what took place concerning the board and its members.

Comments

ThisIsOurs 3 months ago

It would be helpful to tell us who these people are and what qualifies them for inclusion on such a critical board at such a critical time. Being "young smart and energetic" is not sufficient. Not for this hour.

In my mind there are only two criteria for inclusion on a board. 1. Extensive experience leading large corporations to financial success or 2. Extensive technical experience in the domain in which the business falls. Putting together a group of people for a highly technical organization with none having either of these qualities, leads to the board members either doing whatever the politicians want, taking anything the technocrats say as gospel or bucking heads with the technocrats because they (board) don't understand the area or long term strategy. Just look at WSC. They got rid of the guy who actually knew what he was doing so the young energetic chairman could get his way. A board is not the place to brag about "youth", the target is "experience (successful, extensive, senior level, large business)"or "domain knowledge". If they have either and they're young fine.

Putting an excellent plumber to lead an airline doesn't necessarily translate to good business health

We still don't know what the issue was that locked the other board. Did the board face an Oban like decision? Did the board fundamentally disagree with the non transparent wishes of politicians? was this board appointed because they have a history of getting along or gong along with politicians? The next 40 years is on the line.

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DDK 3 months ago

Of course your criteria are necessary for such appointments and your comments are sensible, ThisIsOurs, regrettably our Cabinet Ministers themselves are, more often than not, lacking in the essential vital qualities of leadership and expertise. The unbroken circle continues. The promised transparency is not present either......

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Socrates 3 months ago

we talk 'democracy', 'transparency' and other nice sounding words, but practice is something else. apparently we have many secret and black ops type operations including BPL. every time some controversy arises, e.g.monuments and antiquities commission, now BPL, etc., we get the same answer from the politicians, NO COMMENT.

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BONEFISH 3 months ago

i am very disappointed in the situation at BPL or whatever it is called. Powersecure has been removed as the manager and they have gone backward.COO Mrs.Alston said on a talk show, they have no plan for the company and it will take them a year to create it. Wow Minister Bannister in this situation has been a huge disappointment to me also.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months ago

Not unexpectedly the Lyford Cay community is now represented on the BPL board - Stephen Holowesko, brother of Mark Holowesko. Interesting too that another resident of Lyford Cay, Diane Holowesko (sister of Mark and Stephen), was appointed head of the Town Planning Dept. at a time when the Lyford Cay community was seeking a major re-zoning order in 2018, which no doubt has been or shortly will be approved. And to think Bahamians and the dimwitted Doc alike thought the PM was in charge of governing the country! Puppet Doc has mucked up so many things that people who normally prefer operating behind the scenes are finding they must now come to the forefront. The impending highly secretive Shell North America deal negotiated out of the PM's Office, a deal that will put a massive LNG bunkering, refueling and transshipment facility in the back yard of the Lyford Cay, Albany and Old Fort gated communities, was the final straw that broke the camel's back. LOL

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sheeprunner12 3 months ago

Soooooo, are you saying that the Shell LNG deal is DOA now?????

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months ago

Noooooo, but even you must appreciate that the collective wealth of a relatively small group of foreigners closely tied to the Lyford Cay community makes our country's entire $9 billion national debt seem like chump change. Just dwell on that for a moment!

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concernedcitizen 3 months ago

Large volumes of LNG are cooled down for transportation and storage that takes away the risk of explosion . An explosion is usually a "one off" big ball that goes upwards and is short lived ,a big flash .On the other hand Bunker C fuel that we presently use if ignited is extremely hard to extinguish and makes rivers of fire in many directions and w out a load of a type of fire retardant know as "foam " in large amounts the fire burns for extended .weeks etc , periods of time .Both you and @ thisisour use conjecture and a not so physic insight into the minds of people u don,t know to cut the cloth to fit your anti Minnis bias .My verdict is still out on Minnis .However we have not been able to provide reliable power at a reasonable rate for 30 to 40 odd years .If Minnis pulls the plug and puts it in a large private firms hand ,ie Shell NA , my hat is off to Him

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ThisIsOurs 3 months ago

I asked for "more information" I don't know how you got from a request for more information to "jumping to conclusions".

As to anti Minnis bias, I think I have quite enough information after a year and a half on how he operates and it's not good. I wouldn't call that bias. I'd call that fact based assessment. Can he change, sure, just stop undermining the selection process to order the people he likes, and doesn't consider threats, to critical posts or orchestrating events to ensure the deals he wants to go through go through no matter how ill thought out they are.

The best ideas or products including Shell LNG will mean squat if Minnis appoints the wrong people to lead the team. There's no amount of profits that an unethical big eyed group can't syphon off or redirect to their own pockets on overpriced contracts. Just look at the ore ruch African nations and the super wealthy leaders for your examples

and I'm not anti Minnis, I'm pro Bahamas.

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concernedcitizen 3 months ago

The alternative was more of PGC . In our system a board is picked for a government run company by the MP responsible for that company .The managers make the day to day decision .The board makes recomendations but ultimately it is the Minister in consultation w the Prime who makes the big decisions . Your typed words "stop undermining the selection process to order the people he likes , and doesn,t consider threats , to critical post or orchestrating events to ensure the deals he wants to go through go through no matter how ill thought out they are " ,,are conjecture and opinion on your part ,Also if as a leader you want something to move in a certain direction ,,ie privatize ,, would you appoint people opposed to it .There have been a lot of sip sip about the Shell deal that is not even signed yet .Don,t you think if the PLP had proof of crooked bidding they would be screaming their heads off . And if the other bidders felt so aggrieved they would take legal action .The MP where I reside seems to be a well balanced up and coming intelligent guy .He is also a PLP .I asked him about the Shell deal .He said he would not oppose just to oppose and something needs to be done ., but nothing is signed yet .Once it is to the point of HOA he said he would look at it then and decide .

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ThisIsOurs 3 months ago

My words were a general statement on Minnis and not related to this board appt. as I said I "used the past year and a half's experience". I have direct knowledge of such meddling. And everybody know about Oban and misleading parliament and the nation. Also I know the difference between a board and management, it's our leaders who don't. The board is your most important element because they're supposed to use their past experience managing large companies, see patterns in your business, maybe use some intuition as well and look into the future and set the path that's supposed to set you on or guarantee continued success. In our society they hand out board appointments like trophies for best flyer distributor in the election campaign. And I een talking bout Christie anymore, he lost and he's home resting.

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ThisIsOurs 3 months ago

"Also if as a leader you want something to move in a certain direction ,,ie privatize ,, would you appoint people opposed to it"

I hope I misread that. I hope you're not saying it's ok to appoint a bunch of yes men. The board are supposed to be experienced independent thinkers who use collective wisdom and experience to make the best decisions, even if that means opposing you and saving you from your Oban self

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concernedcitizen 3 months ago

The board recommends .The decision is up to the MP who has the corporation in his portfolio .The PM can go w that decision or intervine and make his own decision,,unless its something that needs the vote of parliament . So how can either the MP or PM be accused of meddleing ,,its their decision to make .No one is going to buy BPL/BEC and its junk equipment and 350 million dollar debt .If Minnis can get a private firm to come in and build a new plant and own and operate ,,ie BTC ,Aliv ..My hat is off to him . If you are for privatization would you put a bunch of people on the board opposed to it ,or professionals that can help navigate that .The PLP have 3 members before the courts ,if there was a case to be made for rigged bidding ,Wayne Monroe a very good attorney and media savvy individual would be before the press and the courts. My verdict is still out on Minnis ,but if someone does support him are they not pro Bahamian ..40 years we can,t provide reliable power for whatever reason ,,let people who can do it,, do it,,, w out political interference like BTC and Aliv who own the majority shares and make decision w out the politicians and their croines input ,,be it PLP or FNM

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ThisIsOurs 3 months ago

I'm sorry but your "get people who agree with you" to run the board is not the purpose of a board. Sharing a vision and making decisions on how to accomplish the vision are two different things. Your Oban steps to revitalization even though you share the "vision" may be absolutely corrupt and nonsensical. The board would save you from yourself and say there's a better way.

If I was for privatization, if it were my company, I would get the best people to sit on the board. I'm appointing the best people because I don't know enough to make the decisions. I'm counting on their collective knowledge

People well respected in the field for their extensive business and technical knowledge and years of leading companies to financial success.

Because I'd be sure I picked the right people, even if they opposed me, I would listen to their advice. That's why you pick "experience" . If you're not going to listen to them, there's no reason to put them on the board. Appoint yourself to be chairman and secretary.

One thing I'll take a guess at, Minnis would never put this complement of persons to look after any of his private companies.

For your edification, I wasn't happy with the previous board appt either because I don't think they met the mark either. As to those three members before the court forget it, it was a big show, they had no beyond a reasonable doubt evidence and that court drama was orchestrated by Minnis to feed the crowd. The QC they hired looked at their crazy case and threw away half the counts, then as he learned more information he got the hell out of dodge. Wayne Munroe could be the worst attorney The someONE who forced this case to court on week evidence as a political stunt shoot themselves in the foot.

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concernedcitizen 3 months ago

tired of the back and forth ,,you cut the cloth to fit your bias ,We have been unable to provide reliable power at a reasonable cost .We can not even supply crappy electrical service at the highest cost in the region .Privatize it .BTC is better under Liberty and our treasury gets more revenue owning the minority shares then they did owning the whole thing .Once it is privatized there will be no government appointed board only a member or two recommended to sit on the board .I amazed at your physic abilities to know who did what and why ,,its amazing though your abilities always feed your bias ,,hmmmm

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ThisIsOurs 3 months ago

OH you mean psychic. It was in the news. The QC dropped some of the crazy counts then he left. I guess if you can psychically read a newspaper article sure...

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concernedcitizen 3 months ago

QC dropped some of the crazy counts?? ..QC for the crown ??If he was he could recommend why the crown should not go ahead w such counts and then the crown could drop them .If it was QC for the defense he would show just cause why the counts should be dropped and the magistrate would decide to drop the charges .Your psychic abilities know the motives for the crown filing the charges ,the reason the QC you speak of left ,maybe his job was done , and the guilt or innonence of the accused before a verdict is reached .Really I could care two hoots about who is on the board at this point ..It is past time to bring in people who know how to provide power ,give them majority ownership and control and get government out of it ,,PLP or FNM Forty years is enough proof for me

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Gotoutintime 3 months ago

Them that has the gold makes the rules!!

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Mr2Questions 3 months ago

It would have been more helpful had the Tribune share with its readers who these people are aand their qualifications! With that information we could possible assess for ourselves their possible contribution to the Board.

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ThisIsOurs 3 months ago

Educational background. Where they worked. What position they held. How long they held it. What significant accomplishments they had in that position.

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Craig 3 months ago

Let's face it, government boards are toothless and have no real power, therefore effectively they serve no useful purpose, which is pretty much a waste of everyone's time and money including the board members themselves. A properly functioning and empowered board is crucial to the health and success of an organization. However if its very existence or who sits on it are left to the whims of one or a small group of individuals then there is no way for it to be effective.

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