After rejecting the firm chosen by Frontier West Virginia and Citizens Telecommunications Company of West Virginia to conduct an audit of the company’s operations, the West Virginia Public Service Commission selected one for Frontier.
On Thursday, the PSC chose Schumaker and Co. to perform the focused management audit, ordered that the audit start as soon as possible, and set a requirement for the audit to be completed in six months.
The commission originally ordered an audit Aug. 30, 2018, after receiving an increasing number of complaints regarding Frontier’s quality of service, including concerns from emergency services, 911 centers and senior citizens.
The order said the focused management audit of Frontier was to be conducted by a qualified outside auditing firm identified through a request for proposals and paid for by Frontier. The order said the audit will give Frontier and the PSC a comprehensive ability to understand and prioritize the challenges facing Frontier.
Last month, the PSC rejected Frontier’s choice of auditor, determining that Frontier, in its selection of an auditing firm, had placed too much emphasis on cost and too little weight on the bidding firms’ resources, experience, audit planning, audit methodology, audit standards and report writing ability.
“Having reviewed the bid package information submitted by the audit candidates, the commission determined that Schumaker is a well qualified candidate and presents the most comprehensive audit plan and resources for conducting the focused management audit,” the PSC said in a news release.
In the order, the PSC stressed that Schumaker should highlight its findings and recommendations related to emergency services. It also set a timetable under which the audit is to proceed, including a preliminary summary due on day 120, a draft report on day 150 and a final report on day 180.
Bob Elek, director of public relations for Frontier Communications’ South Region, told The Herald-Dispatch on Wednesday that Frontier engaged in an objective bid award process weighing all factors.
“However, the PSC felt pricing was overemphasized in the evaluation,” Elek said. “We will act in good faith to comply fully with the PSC’s directives.”
Schumaker and Co. has offices in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Atlanta, Georgia; Austin, Texas; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Additional information is available on the PSC website, www.psc.state.wv.us, by referencing Case No. 18-0291-T-P.