Kralendijk – The role and task of the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) on Bonaire is not immediately clear to everyone as of yet. This was the impression during a press conference of the ACM yesterday afternoon, in which the organization explained her task and her approach in the light of the discussion around the new rates of the Water and Power Company Bonaire, WEB N.V.
Consumers on the island appear to blame the rate increases that lie ahead on the involvement of ACM, while producer ContourGlobal and distributor WEB N.V. seem to believe that the ACM is preventing the implementation of cost-effective tariffs.
Laurens Jörg, lawyer at ACM assured the press the organization is really there for the protection of the consumer when it comes to the tariffs. The organization studies the situation on each of the 3 BES-islands to determine what can be considered a fair price for the production and distribution of power and water.
Jörg emphasized, however, that the ACM determines the final rates. “As ACM, we set a maximum rate, but WEB and ContourGlobal can charge less if they want”, said Jörg, who pointed out that producers and distributors are in any case not allowed to charge more than maximum price established by ACM.
Jörg also stated that his organization is not the one to decide on the subsidies granted by ministries to partly subsidize the prices on the islands. “We can provide information to all parties involved, but in the end it is up to the WEB, the Public Entity Bonaire and the ministries to determine how much subsidy is being provided and how this is put to use to lower prices”, said Jörg.
In response to a question from a member of the local press about the cooperation with WEB, Jörg said that he had no complaints at all. “WEB is generally professional, businesslike and sufficiently thorough when answering our questions”, said Jörg. He however also clarified that that the ACM was not there to assess the legality and efficiency of each and every expenditure of WEB.
All decisions and relevant information about ACM can be found on the website of the ACM: www.acm.nl/caribisch -the Netherlands .