Report 2018-118 Recommendations

When an audit is completed and a report is issued, auditees must provide the State Auditor with information regarding their progress in implementing recommendations from our reports at three intervals from the release of the report: 60 days, six months, and one year. Additionally, Senate Bill 1452 (Chapter 452, Statutes of 2006), requires auditees who have not implemented recommendations after one year, to report to us and to the Legislature why they have not implemented them or to state when they intend to implement them. Below, is a listing of each recommendation the State Auditor made in the report referenced and a link to the most recent response from the auditee addressing their progress in implementing the recommendation and the State Auditor's assessment of auditee's response based on our review of the supporting documentation.

Recommendations in Report 2018-118: California Public Utilities Commission: It Could Improve the Transparency of Water Rate Increases by Disclosing Its Review Process and Ensuring That Utilities Notify Customers as Required (Release Date: December 2018)

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Recommendations to Public Utilities Commission
Number Recommendation Status
1

To ensure that water utility customers can access understandable information regarding why and by how much their water rates are changing as a result of general rate case proceedings, by May 2019 the CPUC should create a webpage specifically for water customers that includes a summary of water rate changes for each general rate case for Class A water utilities.

Fully Implemented
2

To ensure that water utility customers can access understandable information regarding why and by how much their water rates are changing as a result of general rate case proceedings, by May 2019 the CPUC should create a webpage specifically for water customers that includes a summary of any resolutions and decisions that give all water utilities the authority to change their rates for reasons external to the general rate case process, such as increases in the fees the CPUC charges utilities for regulating them.

Fully Implemented
3

To ensure transparency and promote public understanding of its processes, by July 2019 the CPUC should create and publish information for customers regarding its general rate case and advice letter processes, including how and when water utilities are required to notify customers of increased rates and how customers can participate in both processes.

Fully Implemented
4

To ensure that it informs customers that they have an opportunity to provide their input regarding general rate cases, by May 2019 the CPUC should implement a process to verify and maintain records that demonstrate that water utilities are submitting notifications to their customers of Public participation hearings in accordance with the time frames set out in regulations, any additional notification requirements the ALJs may impose, and any general rate case application filings in accordance with the time frames set out in regulations.To the extent that it identifies noncompliance with notification requirements, the CPUC should evaluate whether to impose a fine on the water utility.

Fully Implemented
5

To ensure that all customers receive timely notification from water utilities of potential and actual rate increases, the CPUC should implement a process by May 2019 that requires water utilities to submit proof of customer notification to its Water Division, which should then review these notifications to ensure that the utilities are meeting the requirements. If the water utilities do not comply with the requirements, the CPUC should consider whether to impose a fine on the water utility.

Fully Implemented
6

To ensure that the CPUC fulfills its statutory requirement for auditing all water utilities, it should immediately begin to follow its Standard Practice when auditing Class A water utilities, or develop policies and procedures by May 2019 to ensure that the reviews Public Advocates conducts of general rate cases demonstrate compliance with the legal requirement for audits of these utilities.

Pending
7

To ensure that the CPUC fulfills its statutory requirement for auditing all water utilities, it should immediately develop a plan to complete audits of Class A water utilities and small water utilities in a timely manner.

Partially Implemented
8

To ensure that the public can access advice letters on the CPUC's website and because it is unknown when the system it is developing will be complete, the CPUC should immediately begin developing another process to make advice letters easily available by July 2019, such as by scanning them and posting copies on the Water Division's webpage.

Fully Implemented


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