ACC finds ERA bid was clean

| 23/05/2014

(CNS): The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) says it has found no evidence to support the allegations of corruption made by the former managing director of the ERA, Joey Ebanks, in connection with the bids that were solicited in 2013 by the regulator for additional electricity provision. The allegations were made over a year ago by the former MD in the wake of his suspension and then subsequent arrest for theft and fraud. Ebanks, who has since been convicted and is currently serving a more than two year sentence at HMP Northward, alleged that bids had been tampered with and bribery had occurred. But the ACC has concluded its investigation and said that the allegations were completely unfounded.

Although Ebanks had originally denied all the allegations of theft and fraud, in January of this year he had a change of heart and made a full and frank confession to all of his wrongdoing. However, the former political candidate, talk show host and CUC employee has never retracted the allegations he made about the corruption surrounding the bids.

Following Ebanks' allegations about the tampering and possible bribery, the bid, which had been awarded to a Dart company, was cancelled. The ERA Board of Directors (BoD) then promised the public that it would commission an independent review of the process to determine if there had been any wrongdoing. 

“When the ACC, acting through the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service,subsequently initiated a parallel investigation, the ERA BoD resolved to let the ACC investigation also inform it as to whether anything had gone wrong in the bid process. The ACC, with the full cooperation of the ERA, has completed a thorough investigation of the previous bid process and specifically the allegations of impropriety made by the ex-MD and concluded that the allegations were completely without merit,” officials said in a statement released Thursday evening.

“In the wake of the spurious allegations made by the ex-MD and as a result of unavoidable and unforeseen delays and various timelines not being able to be achieved, the ERA had no choice but to cancel the previous solicitation process in July 2013,” the board added in the statement.

The ERA has since issued a new Request for Proposals (RFP) in response to the certificate of need which was issued some time ago by CUC. This new RFP was issued to five pre-qualified bidders plus CUC, which is obligated under its licence to bid. 

On 12 May 2014 the ERA received bids from three qualified bidders, namely CUC, Dart Enterprises Real Estate Ltd (DERE) and the Louis Berger Group (LBG). Officials said that between them these three bidders have submitted a total of 6 proposed firm power alternatives involving 4 different fossil fuels – namely liquefied propane gas (LPG), compressed natural gas (CNG), diesel oil (DO) and heavy fuel oil (HFO).

“The ERA is pleased by the diversity of fuels in the qualified bidders' proposals, and by the variety of equipment options offered,” the board stated. “The bidders have worked diligently to submit offers that seek to meet the need for new firm power generation, and the ERA values their efforts. The ERA looks forward, with the assistance of its consultant, ICF International, to ensuring that the bids meet the threshold requirements, and to then evaluating them in accordance with thedetailed criteria set out in the RFP in order to select the solution that best meets Grand Cayman customer’s needs."

The ERA said it is working towards a July target date for completion of its evaluation, and the new generation would come on line in 2016. 

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Category: Crime

Comments (14)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Shouldn't the ACC investigation not just gone like this:

    ACC No.1 "What is next"

    ACC No. 2 "The allegations that the ERA bid was corrupt"

    ACC No. 1 "Who made these allegations?"

    ACC No. 2 "Joey Ebanks"

    ACC No. 1 "You mean the thieving crack-head"

    ACC No. 2 "Yes, the thieving crack-head who has now found god but that didn't keep him out of jail"

    ACC No.1 "So these allegations were made after he stopped stealing and taking crack?"

    ACC No. 2 "No and it seems pretty certain he was off his face when he made the allegations.  He wasn't one another planet, he was in another universe"

    ACC No. 1 "And what are some of the side effects of chronic crack use?"

    Acc No. 2 "Delusional paranoia is right up there"

    ACC No. 1 "And that is the end of the investigation"

  2. Mark Hennings says:

    Dart got enough money,  LBG is loaded, who needs the money is  The People Of The Cayman Islands. It's going to be diesel it's going only get more expensive and we are never going to own those plants, we are going to pay for them and pay dearly for them over the next 20 years.

    so just trying to help, why don't we build our own solar power plant require CUC to stick to the terms of there contract to provide generation, require CUC to take every drop of nice clean cheap electricity we supply them with, enjoy the benefit of a blended lower utility bill, return 5% a year to all of the Caymanians that bought bonds to build the plant, pay it of and own it in 20 years.

    like a very powerful person said when she first saw it, "seams like a no brainier to me"

    • Anonymous says:

      You want to own CUC? You can. In $10.00 shares. Stop complaining you will never own it. That is entirely up to you.

    • Anonymous says:

      "seams like a no brainier to me".  Your words speak for themselves.

    • Anonymous says:

      Seriously man – spell check your post before you press send!

  3. just Askin' says:

    So when does the slander case begin and how do I get a cut of the damages?
    Would it be inappropriate to say “stick that in your pipe and smoke it Joey”?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Well something has to change here in my home sometimes the voltage I recieve especially at dinner time will drop below 100 volts.This behavior is regulated in the states because we know that the utility company is ripping us off when the voltage gets too low and it ruins our electrical appliances If we complain enough the local utility will pay for our ruined electronic stuff.  It is sad that no one is watching the utility company and making sure we get out full voltage..

    That said for those that cant ubnderstand what i am saying is that when the utility weezes back the voltage (you know when the lites dim) yur getting ripped off

    Buy a voltage meter in town and see what i am telling you for yourselves  

    • Anonymous says:

      But as undervoltage would not damage your equipment, I think you are just making stuff up.

    • Anonymous says:

      Like internet speeds drop in the weekend. Same thing/

    • Anonymous says:

      I don't work for CUC, but I know a little bit about electricity. If you are getting 100V around dinner time then the problem is either in your house wiring or the transformer feeding you. For the many complaints that can be made against CUC, neither low voltage nor variable frequency is valid.

    • Anonymous says:

      @22:19

      Have you reported your low voltage problem to CUC. if not I advise you to.

       

      Regards

    • Anonymous says:

      Not a new issue or master conspiracy – the challenge to supply consistant power in a corrosive environment is never ending.  It is sensible for anyone running a decent media system to invest in a Panamax or similar power management device to protect their equipment against surges and troughs.  We've been running one for almost 20 years to smooth out the voltage spikes and there are lights so you can visualize when it drops.  If it gets really bad, call CUC and they will put a line monitor on your home and/or change out or service the junctions that feed in.  Sometimes a build up of salt needs to be power-washed off the lines.  Anyway, best to call the professionals if you feel you're getting less than you deserve.  I agree that most people don't even know this can be a problem, good of you to bring it up.