Jamaica



The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) is Jamaica’s only multi-sector Utility Regulator. It was established by an Act of Parliament in 1995 to regulate the operations of utility companies. Operations began in January 1997.

The Director General is the head of the OUR and together with the Deputy Directors General comprise The Office. The Director General is appointed by the Governor General, while the Deputy Directors General are appointed by the Prime Minister. The Office is similar to a board of directors and meets regularly to make decisions on regulatory and administrative matters.

Role
The role of the OUR, as an independent regulator, is often misunderstood, particularly by the largest stakeholder group - consumers. However, the Regulator has an obligation to be objective and impartial. One of our mandates is to provide an Avenue of Appeal for consumers who have grievances with the utility companies. Contrary to general belief, the OUR is not a consumer advocacy group. The OUR has also been recognized internationally for the pioneering role it has played in the regional development of independent utility regulation and the liberalization of the telecommunications sector.

Mission
To contribute to national development by creating an environment for the efficient delivery of utility services to the customers while ensuring that service providers have the opportunity to make a reasonable return on investment.

Objectives
The Objectives of the OUR are to:
  • Ensure that consumers of utility services enjoy an acceptable quality of service at reasonable cost.
  • Establish and maintain transparent, consistent and objective rules for the regulation of utility service providers.
  • Promote the long term, efficient provision of utility services for national development consistent with Government policy.
  • Provide an avenue of appeal for consumers in their relationship with the utility service providers.
  • Work with other related agencies in the promotion of a sustainable environment.
  • Act independently and impartially.

More information on the OUR can be found on its website "www.our.org.jm".