The board of directors for the public utilities regulation agency Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos (ARESEP) has voted a nice fat raise to high officials of he agency — up in some cases a million colones from their current pay. For example, Regulator General Dennis Melendez’s salary passes from ¢6.1 million colones (US$11.000 dollars) per month to ¢7.1 million (US$13.000).

aresep1This is a raise of 17.5%. But assistant regulator Grettel Lopez jumped only 19%, from ¢5.4 million colones monthly to ¢6.4 million.

In a generous mood, the board made the salary hikes retroactive to Jan. 1.

Melendez defended the salary hikes, noting that the top to administrative officials’ salaries are adjusted only every five years and that the adjustment is for inflation. His argument is one used by everyone including Wall Street corporations — that any less risks being uncompetitive and unable to attract qualified personnel.

The reform of 2008 of ARESEP notes that officials wages should be adjusted to the services in private enterprise and public utilities that it regulates. New officials will find their salaries lowered but not the older ones.

The rank and file of other ARESEP and the telecommunications regulation agency SUTEL will receive hikes of half a million colones to ¢5.2 million from ¢4.7 million. ARESEP has 287 employees of whom 92 receive salaries that include such perks as incentives. The latter category received hikes of 43%.

The law was passed obviously before the world economy took a dive. It will be now up to President Luis Guillermo Solis, if he is serious about putting a cap on government spending,  start right here with the regulatory agency whose function is to protect the taxpayer of the price of public services like electricity, water and telephone. And of course the price of government services!

Source:, reposted with permission and edited by QCR

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