The move will require the approval of the seven-member Legislative Audit Committee, but two Republicans, Sen. Scott Renfroe and Rep. Steve King, plan to ask for an audit of the Public Utilities Commission because of some of its recent decisions in the energy, taxi, and telecom sectors–the list is quite extensive:
“We felt it was appropriate to ask for a performance audit of the PUC to see if they are complying with the laws, to get an unbiased source and take this out of the political fray,” Renfroe said.
Doug Dean, PUC director, vows full cooperation should an audit be approved.
An audit may prevent outrageous Colorado Open Records Act costs to those seeking information about the PUC’s activities in many of the instances cited in the article, particularly in areas of legislative concern like the Clean Air-Clean Jobs Act of 2010, or its failure to issue timely decisions to applicants seeking market entry in the taxi business. In opening up the commission’s activities to greater scrutiny, less-generic CORA requests would be required, as more precise information was made available through the mandated report.
The requested audit may also reveal other potential conflicts of interest (even perceived ones) between the PUC and Xcel or any other organization, while making it more difficult for PUC administrators like Chairman Ron Binz to spend nearly one quarter of his time out of the office on posh “fact-finding” missions to exotic, out-of-state locations.