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MEA top man admits lack of cooperation


08/12/2008 13:59:38 naive


The Select Committee investigating the Manx Electricity Authority heard today how former chief executive Mike Proffitt instructed his capital investment manager Ashton Lewis not to give information to the Treasury.


Mr Lewis, who has since taken over from Mr Proffitt, was responsible for preparing monthly financial reports on the build of the power station at Pulrose.


He told the committee he was contacted by the Treasury several times during 2001, asking him to comply with its capital project procedures.


Looking back, Mr Lewis (pictured) admitted the MEA should have been more co-operative when dealing with the Treasury.


The committee, chaired by Speaker of the House of Keys Steve Rodan, is investigating unauthorised bank loans totalling £120 million, taken out by the MEA.




My personal view is that he knew exactly what he was doing; either that, or he was hoodwinked by Proffitt. In any scenario, he should be sacked.


Mr Lewis is either dishonest or stupid. I personally think he is a bit of both.

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About time cost of electricity followed gas down isn't it?


not when they are trying to pay back 120 million more than they should have been. the mea will be stretching arses for years, probably the working life of the power station, after which we will start all over with another out of budget fiasco to replace/update it.

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And now with all that forward planning, the prison is taking more power than can be produced, so; Peel to be de-mothballed, Ramsey to be started again and boosters fitted all over the island because the system is struggling.

Bunch of amateurs.

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Erm - a bit of selective memory and reporting their methinks.


Now there was a spat between the MEA and Treasury in 2001 over capital projects - it wasn't that the MEA hid things - they directly told treasury that the Electricities Acts etc showed Treasury was acting beyond its powers, was being overbearing and had no right to demand what it was demanding.


And what happened - the officials, civil servants, politicians and the MEA argued and argued and guess what - a compromise was reached. Treasury agreed with that compromise, it went all the way to ministerial level.


So it was agreed that Mr Lewis et al didn't need to provide that data on the Captial Projects - and that regular meetings would be held with Treasury from then on.


And that is what happened - Treasury came to these meetings and didn't complain, or make a fuss.


I fully agree in retrospect that things went very very wrong. But Mr Lewis didn't hide - he told Treasury no, and they went to the AG and the minister etc and came back and said - Alright.


Ashton regrets that now, lots of other people do too - but when looking for who's at fault - well I don't think its so black and white as the sack-the-MEA mob would like it to be.

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Retrospectively approved.


Is that the same thing? Surely the question is whether it was legal at the time?


This seems to me (and probably lots of others) like yet another of those IOM things which makes the place seem very dodgy. My gut reaction is that if the loan was not right then it is tough on the bank - but ultimately their problem. They should have checked it better.


After the various scandals of the past 10 years it's difficult to have much faith. It always seems to be about small groups of people seeming to think that they can just decide things and often seeming to be wearing far too many hats. And then a bunch of closely related people coming along and deciding that nothing will be done. I have not expressed that particularly well. Sorry to be cynical.


Perhaps it was all absolutely fine - but just needs to be explained better.

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