Help Me Root Out The Lack of Transparency in the Utility Sector

A whistleblower who raised concerns about OFGEM and the repercussions he has suffered as a consequence of doing so, has launched a crowdjustice page to raise urgently needed funds to fight his legal battle.

Greg Pytel,  an economist with oversight of the rollout of the £10.9bn smart meter programme, raised concerns about OFGEM, but says, ” I can’t tell you what those concerns were, because if I were to do so I would be committing a criminal act for which I could go to prison for two years.”

Using section 105 Utilities Act 2000, OFGEM has refused to disclose the documents needed for his case to be heard. An Employment Tribunal dismissed this argument, agreeing that it was a breach of Greg’s right to a fair trial, and ordering the documents to be disclosed. But OFGEM appealed that ruling to the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

Greg is defending that appeal, in order to allow his case to be heard and justice to be reached. He has been fighting to have his concerns heard for two years with legal firm Bindmans LLP and Paul Michell and Rachel Barrett at Cloisters Chambers – specialist whistleblowing lawyers. We at Protect have also been supporting the case.

Protect Francesca West, said: “The whole of the UK energy market – that’s more than 600,000 workers – are currently being held to ransom over Section 105 of the Utilities Act, and threatened with a prison sentence if they speak up over wrongdoing. It is utterly shameful.”

Greg, who needs legal funds in order for his employment tribunal to go ahead later this month, said, “I don’t have the resources that OFGEM has, with the full weight of the government and energy industry behind them”.

Labour MP Peter Kyle, a member of the business, energy and industrial strategy select committee, said in a recent Guardian article on Greg’s case “Ofgem do have many commercial secrets that are vital to the wellbeing of our nations’ infrastructure, but the power they have to gag whistleblowers is an extreme one and should be used in only extreme circumstances.

“I’m now extremely concerned about the potential abuse of these powers. Parliament might need to look at who has oversight and scrutiny of them and see if the law needs updating.”

If you are able to support Greg Pytel please visit Crowdjustice

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