The Utilities Regulatory Authority (URA) of Vanuatu was established on 11 February 2008 under the Utilities Regulatory Act No. 11 of 2007.

URA is an initiative of the Vanuatu Government, with additional financial support from AusAID through the Governance for Growth (GfG) Program in cooperation with the World Bank.

The URA Act establishes the URA as an independent body acting as a mediator between the Government and Public Utilities.

A Commission comprising three people makes the decisions:


Mr. Johnson Matarulapa NAVITI

Part-time Executive Commissioner

Mr. John OBED Alilee

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Hasso C. Bhatia, PhD



Chairperson - Johnson NAVITI Matarulapa MARAKIPULE

Johnson Naviti was appointed to the role of Chairperson and part-time non-executive Commissioner in October 2008. He has joined the Aid Coordination Unit of the Prime Minister Office where he is currently the head.

Mr. Naviti has been the principal implementator of the program for the Pacific Islands Forum Secretarial based in Fiji from 2002 to 2008 and worked for the government of Vanuatu from 1996 to 2001 as an analyst in the sector, including Acting Director Economic Development and the Industry.

He holds a Bachelors Degree in Resource and Environmental Planning from Massey University, in New Zealand.

  Part-time Executive Commissioner - John OBED ALILEE

Mr. John OBED was appointed to the position of Part-Time Executive Commissioner on 1 August 2014. He is the Registrar of the Supreme Court since 2002 and Secretary of the Judicial Service Commission since 2003. Prior to that, Mr. Obed worked as the Lay Magistrate in both Judicial and Administrative roles.

Before joining the Vanuatu courts, he was in the teaching arena as Principal of Matevulu College from 1998 to 2000.

Mr. OBED has a Master of Business Administration, a Postgraduate Certificate in Human Resource Management from the University of the South Pacific. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts from the Wellington University of Victoria in New Zealand. He is a member of several committees in the country and the Government of Vanuatu. Mr. OBED was appointed as part of statutory recruitment for a Regulator for the Office of Telecommunication and Radiocommunications Regulator in 2013 and recruitment for Director General of the Public Services Commission in 2011.

He is a trained Judicial Educator and has a Mediator Certificate by LEADR, Australia.

Chief Executive Officer and Part-time Commissioner - Dr. Hasso C. Bhatia PhD

Dr. Bhatia was appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Utilities Regulatory Authority in October 2013. He has solid experience and background in all aspects of electricity, water and gas utility management and economic regulation including cost of service and rate of return analysis, utility accounting systems, financial analysis and consumer protection. He holds a PhD in Mathematics from Michigan State University, an M.S degree in Mathematics and Operations Research and a B.S. degree from University of Delhi, India.

Dr. Bhatia also specializes in Energy Efficiency program design, development and demand side management. As Director of Energy Efficiency and Incentives Division with the Public Utilities Commission in Michigan, he developed and implemented several utility and consumer incentive programs to promote efficiencies in the residential, commercial and industrial usage.

As Director of Technical Services Division at PUC in Michigan, Dr. Bhatia has successfully negotiated several large scale Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) involving power from combined cycle gas IPP projects. He has testified successfully as an expert witness in major arbitrations involving PPA disputes. Also, he was the first who showed the validity of the use of modern tracking apps to provide the security. Dr. Bhatia has been a project manager to investigate the Management Prudency and Cost-overruns in the Construction of large-scale nuclear projects in Michigan and Ohio. As Team Leader, Dr. Bhatia has performed studies on promoting Hydropower Development under Public Private Partnership in Nepal.

Dr Bhatia has held various leadership positions in utility and infrastructure management and regulation within the United States of America, in Eastern Europe, former Soviet Republics, Central Asia and South Asia.






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