RAE board hirings to be made amid wider favoritism claims

The upcoming appointments of four board members, including a deputy president, for the seven-member board at RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, come at a sensitive time following the opposition’s criticism of the energy ministry and government for top-level recruitment choices made at other state-related agencies, including, just days ago, at DEPENE, the state company for energy investments, described as acts of favoritism.

RAE has remained dormant since early December as the tenures of four of the authority’s seven board members expired and replacements have yet to be recruited. Candidates interested in filling the board’s vacant posts submitted resumes ahead of a deadline that expired just prior to the festive season.

According to sources, energy ministry officials have processed the applications and shortlisted candidates for the four RAE board posts. Interviews are scheduled to be conducted tomorrow before the energy minister Panos Skourletis makes his selections. The minister’s choices for the four posts will face a parliamentary committee before their hirings are made official.

If recruitment choices are made at the ministry within the next few days then RAE is expected to be able to function again by the end of this month, or early February, the latest. The new officials will need to be fully informed on responsibilities before they start work.

Any delays at the ministry over the new recruits would further extend RAE’s period of inactivity, which would be unfavorable considering the accumulating load of tasks and crucial energy-sector decisions included in the bailout agreement. All remain pending.

In addition, one of the bailout agreement’s terms calls for reinforcing RAE’s independence. The energy ministry’s choice of officials for the board’s four vacant posts will indicate how serious it is about satisfying this demand.