The Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission (LERC) has levied a US$10,000 (Ten Thousand United States Dollars) fine against the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) for failing to comply with Terms and Conditions under the various licenses issued the Corporation despite repeated notices and deadlines from the Commission. The fine against the Corporation is to be paid into LERC’s account no later than 10 September 2021.
A press release of Monday, 6 September 2021 said the Commission’s decision to impose monetary fine against the LEC is in accordance with “Section 6.12 (Noncompliance/Penalties and Fines)” of the 2015 Electricity Law of Liberia (ELL) and Regulation 12 (Penalties and Fines) of the 2020 September Electricity Licensing Regulations (ELR).
The released signed by the management Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission noted that in a communication to LEC’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Paschal Buckley, the Commission’s Managing Director Augustus V. Goanue pointed out that the Corporation had “failed to comply with Reporting Obligations and Performance Evaluation as enshrined in its Generation-Hydro, Generation-Thermal, Import, Transmission, Transmission System Operator and Distribution licenses that were issued on 9 March 2021”.
Managing Director Goanue, acting upon the Board of Commissioners’ Resolution, pointed out that the Corporation’s noncompliance is in violation of “Section 19 (Compliance Monitoring and Reporting)” of the Terms and Conditions of its various licenses.
The Commission called on the management of the Corporation to “comply with the Terms and Conditions of the various licenses by submitting required reports no later than Wednesday 15 September and failure to comply shall lead to additional punitive actions consistent with the 2015 ELL and ELR”.
The Commission also urged all licensed operators to adhere the electricity law and abide the terms and conditions of their licenses, which are required under Performance Evaluation and Reporting Obligations of each license. The Commission said it attaches importance to reporting and therefore mandates electricity operators to put into motion mechanisms that will ensure full compliance.
In a related development, the Commission is calling on electricity self-suppliers operating at various thresholds to come into compliance with the Electricity Law; saying that this will allow the Commission to populate the database of operators as described in Section 5.1 (1) of the 2015.
The Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission (LERC) is an autonomous independent entity established by Chapter 13 of the 2015 Electricity Law of Liberia (ELL). Its core responsibilities are to oversee and regulate the electricity sector of Liberia. Please visit www.lerc.gov.lr to read more about the Commission.
The public pronouncement of fine on the LEC comes in the wake of request by the opposition LPP of LEC’s Expenditure Report.
The Opposition Liberian People’s Party (LPP), is also seeking accountability from the public service utility agency, the (LEC), for schedules of breakdown of the expenditure for more than 400 million United States dollars it received from Liberia’s development partners and LEC’s portion of the USD$257M from the Millennium Challenge Corporation; Government of Liberia subsidies; and at least three of the most recent LEC audited financial statements of 2013 to. 2020
In a letter addressed to the United States Ambassador to Liberia, H.E. Michael A. McCarthy, the LPP says it believes when Liberians have the opportunity to review the Corporation’s financial statements, they will fully understand the perennial issue of “Power Theft” the service provider faces you asked be halted.
The LPP writes the US envoy stating, “The Liberian People’s Party (LPP), a registered political party in Liberia, requests you and your good offices to kindly encourage the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) to publish schedules of breakdown of the expenditure of the monies it received from Liberia’s development partners.”
The party named the monies continued to include USD$314M loan from the International Development Association; USD$103M from the African Development Bank; LEC’s portion of the USD$257M from the Millennium Challenge Corporation; Government of Liberia subsidies; and at least three of the most recent LEC audited financial statements of 2013 to 2020.
The LPP furthered said the population will be able to see vividly and compare the vice to the positive narratives the Millennium Challenge Account that managed the LEC from 2015 to 2021 gave whereas there was the issue of “Power Theft” the MCA failed to comment on than mentioning it accomplished many things.