The Public Service Commission of West Virginia has told Frontier telecommunications company to complete its filings related to an audit ordered last year after PSC staff said the company doesn’t appear to be taking the audit seriously.
The “focused management audit” of Frontier’s operations in the state was ordered by the PSC on Aug. 30, 2018, to determine if the company was operating efficiently, utilizing sound management practices and to identify those areas where Frontier was operating inefficiently, according to a news release issued by the PSC.
The latest action, taken Wednesday, by the PSC came after Frontier informed the commission on Jan. 23 that it had missed several commission deadlines, including issuing a request for proposals for the audit, the PSC said in a news release.
“Today’s [Wednesday] commission order directs Frontier to file all delinquent documents as soon as possible and to notify the commission immediately should it miss any additional timeline milestones,” according to the PSC.
Two days later, on Friday, Frontier responded to the PSC stating it was soliciting proposals to conduct the required audit and interested parties should submit a proposal by March 4.
Messages seeking comment from Frontier Communications’ media contact for West Virginia were not immediately returned.
The audit was ordered in August after the PSC had received an increasing number of complaints about Frontier’s quality of service. The audit is to be performed by an outside auditing firm and paid for by Frontier.
It is to review a variety of factors related to Frontier’s performance, including the status of the copper network, staffing levels, capital investment, policies and procedures, measurements for quality of service, impact of a declining customer base on internal cash flow, the impact of the company’s bargaining agreement, and ongoing relations between management and labor, the PSC said.
The PSC says the audit is also to make appropriate recommendations for addressing those areas that need to be improved.
In its order urging Frontier to speed up the audit process, the PSC stated:
“The lack of timeliness and the failure of Frontier to modify the open letter to interested consultant/firms and timeline as directed are matters of concern to the commission in that they appear to reflect a lack of attention by Frontier to this proceeding,” the new order said. “Over 50 protests have been filed throughout the pendency of this case. Additionally, there are over 100 active informal and over 60 active formal complaints against Frontier in 2018 (up from 38 in 2017). Delays in this procedure benefit no one.”
Additional information is available on the Commission website at www.psc.state.wv.us by referencing Case No. 18-0291-T-P.