Sark Newspaper 04 January 2019

11 Late in the evening on 29th November 2018 Chief Pleas reached an agreement with Sark Electricity Ltd (SEL). This resulted in two things. Firstly, SEL did not have to turn off the Island’s power supply and, secondly, each and every decision taken by Electricity Price Commissioner Anthony White was overturned by the unelected government that appointed him. Nevertheless, White clings on to his office, and, as illustrated by the most recent array of ‘notices’ on his website, he is still at pains to justify his employ- ment by portraying himself as a man intent on sav- ing the Sark public money by ‘protecting’ them against their ‘enemy’, their sole and beleaguered electricity supplier. The notices amount to nothing but white noise. The reality is that rather than saving Islanders money, the Electricity Price Control Commissioner has cost us an enormous amount of public, i.e. tax- payer’s, money: • His annual fee of £10,000 as well as expenses. • £1,000 a day in overtime payment when his un- specified workload exceeds that expected, whatev- er that may be. In view of recent events, much overtime work has no doubt been incurred, which the Sark taxpayer will have to fork out for, de- spite the work in question being generated solely by White’s deeply flawed conclusions. • £8,000 to contract White’s company, B&W Ener- gy Ltd, as consultants when designing the Control of Electricity Prices (Sark) Law, 2016, under which White was finally appointed as Commis- sioner. • £156,184.60, being the amount spent by Chief Pleas up until 6th November 2018 on the Island’s behalf on the legal defence of White’s various de- cisions. • £115,000, being legal expenses incurred by SEL in its attempts to defend itself against White’s vari- ous decisions. • £385,000 in further legal expenses incurred by SEL to defend itself against state intervention, money which has been / will be recovered through the public’s electricity bills. • Undisclosed costs, both public and private, in the needless renting and freighting of generator equipment prior to an agreement between SEL and Chief Pleas being reached. • The unquantifiable costs of the Law Officers end- less drafting and re-drafting of the Control of Electricity Prices (Sark) Law, 2016, plus endless hours spent on corresponding legal advice. • The extensive damage to Sark as an independent jurisdiction capable of self-governance after the farcical events hit the international media. Yet, here we have Anthony White officiously issu- ing a notice pointing out that he has saved the Sark public pennies on their November electricity bill - pennies which we know we will pay anyway, wheth- er through future bills or future taxation. Electrici- ty Price Control Commissioner Anthony White has been stress tested and found wanting. He has squandered a massive amount taxpayers’ money, over half a million pounds of it, so why are we still paying him? Why doesn’t he just go? From the misconceived price control legislation to the short-sighted and flawed decisions taken by White to the fake ‘crisis’ the Island was plunged into at the end of November, this entire misadven- ture has been an excruciating embarrassment. An embarrassment to Sark, to the Bailiwick of which it is a part and to the British Crown Dependencies in general. However there is an odd sheet attached to the agen- da for the Extraordinary meeting of Chief Pleas to be held next Friday. It contains instructions on how our Conseillers can annul any existing ordi- nance. It strikes The Sark Newspaper that the Elec- tricity Price Law under which Commissioner An- thony White has been able create havoc and freely squander hundreds of thousands of Sark taxpay- ers’ money is a prime candidate for such a process. WANTON WASTE OF TAX- PAYERS’ HARD-EARNED CASH notice_14_december_2018.pdf