TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS GOVERNMENT COMPLETES REVIEW OF PROVO WATER COMPANY LTD.

Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands

Ministry of Home Affairs Public Utilities and Transportation

Energy and Utilities Department

 

TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS GOVERNMENT COMPLETES REVIEW OF PROVO WATER COMPANY LTD.

Independent engineering firm Fichtner Water & Transportation, one of the leading German engineering firms of international standing was contracted by TCIG as the Independent Assessor to conduct the periodic review of the operations of the Provo Water Company Ltd. (PWC). 

Completed in July of 2019, the assignment sought to determine whether the Management of Provo Water Company Ltd. is discharging its functions in respect of its institutional, financial, technical and operational management performance as a regulated business, in an effective and efficient manner and in accordance to the terms of its Instrument of Appointment, the Water and Sewerage Ordinance and accepted industry standards and practices. 

The assessor was also tasked with the responsibility to determine whether the level of charges and factors used for the Charges Scheme requires change to ensure fair economic pricing.

As part of the review, a two-member team from Fichtner spent two and a half weeks on island to conduct field assessments and interviews and meetings at the PWC facilities and to hold meetings with the Water and Sewerage Board, the Energy and Utilities Commissioner, Director of Environmental Health and other stakeholders. 

Assessments and verifications were done on reported Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), a review of the methodologies used in calculating KPIs and establishment of the basis for the method of calculation and confirmation on the existence and use of data and information for evidentiary assessment.  The Assessor also reviewed Standard Operation Procedures employed by the Company and the management of the data log-file related to the KPIs.

The Company’s Financial Management and performance and the Charges Scheme were also reviewed as well as their overall operational Management practices to assess compliance with the requirements of the Instrument of Appointment and the Water and Sewerage Ordinance;  mainly in the areas of  Code of Practice on Disconnection, Asset Management Plans, Customer Service Standards, adequacy of qualification of employees, Business Continuity Plans and the Company’s compliance to health and safety guidelines and safeguarding of the environment.

While the Company was recognized as having probably one of the highest system efficiencies in Latin America and the Caribbean, in terms of the lowest non-revenue water statistics (such as network leak management), some gaps were identified for future rectification.   

Key recommendations include:

(i)                  Publishing of the Asset Management Plan for water and sewerage services, differentiating clearly between those of Provo Water Company and the operations of the bulk water supplier, Turks & Caicos Water Company, especially as it relates to capital investments. 

(ii)                To provide OPEX calculations,

(iii)               To provide more details on future maintenance requirements of the existing and proposed infrastructure,

(iv)               To provide further details on potential land acquisitions and update capital expenditure accordingly and

(v)                The Company is to make amendments to its Service Standards and publish them accordingly.

(vi)               Implementation of personnel assessments and defining gaps and potential relocation of staff and prioritization of a formal training plan.

(vii)             Improved coordination between the Company and DECR related to ensuring alignment of safety guidelines and safeguarding of the environment.  

Energy and Utilities Commissioner, Malike Cummings commented that the timing of the exercise is impeccable as it coincides with the completion of the Company’s Water Master Plan, thereby providing the Water and Sewerage Board a holistic view not only of the state of the sector in Providenciales today but also for the future, since the Water Master Plan is critical in establishing how the water demand of the Island of Providenciales will be met in the most safe, economically and environmentally sustainable manner over the next 20 years and the levels of infrastructure  investments that will be required over the short, medium and long term.

Chairman of the Board, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Home Affairs Public Utilities and Transportation, Mrs. Clara Gardiner, advised that the recommendations of the Independent Assessor are being considered by the Water and Sewerage Board and measures will be taken into account to address existing gaps, both in the Instrument of Appointment under which Provo Water Company Ltd. operates but also needed amendments to the Water and Sewerage Ordinance to ensure relevance to the industry which is positively impacted by technological innovation and improvements and to ensure there is consistency in the instruments governing the sector and alignment with acceptable industry standards and best practices.

ENDS