Can GUS Investigate Itself?


A presentation was made at the March 26th City Council Workshop on the Electric Resource Management Assessment being done by Schneider Engineering. This assessment is the staff’s attempt to right the ship and save their reputations.

The project scope includes looking at the effectiveness, practices, current organizational structure and opportunities for improvement. This assessment has a budget of $40,000, thus staying below the City Council authorization requirement. Staff reported that 5 firms responded to their request for proposal (RFP) and that the City Manager, Assistant City Manager and General Manager of Utilities scored the responses and the unanimous selection was Schneider Engineering from Boerne & College Station, TX who bid $30,000 to preform the assessment. Schneider has a long history with the City, as it currently manages the City’s Electric regulatory requirements and reporting. Does that sound like an unbiased review to you? The project leader worked closely with the City prior to 2010. Does that sound like someone that would not have a preconceived opinion of the City’s Electric Utility and it’s management? Not to mention, Schneider did not disqualify themselves from future potential business opportunities with the City.

THIS IS NOT AN AUDIT! Or even an unbiased 3’rd party review! First of all, this consultant was selected not by the City Council, but by City Staff, and the final report will be reviewed by City Staff BEFORE its even presented to City Council. There has been no opportunity for the public to be involved in determining the scope or the qualifications of the reviewer.

Once again, this speaks to the continued lack of transparency and continued secrecy regarding the City’s Electric Utility and its operations. We, the residents, taxpayers and rate payers of Georgetown have a right to know what’s happened and be involved in the review process, after all, we own this utility. Don’t we have the right the answers and a say in the outcome of OUR utility?

One comment on “Can GUS Investigate Itself?

  1. April 11, 2019 PJS1

    No!

    Georgetown Utilities should be audited by an independent, objective appraisal firm. The audit should be performed by one of the big national accounting firms, e.g. Deloitte, KPMG, PWC, etc., or one of the nation’s premier consulting firms, e.g. McKinsey & Company, Booz Allen Hamilton, etc. These firms have electric utility practices; they know how to perform a thorough, objective appraisal.

    In addition, the city council should appoint an independent board of knowledgeable citizens to frame the objectives and scope of the audit. And review the results upon completion of the audit. The board should also be empowered to oversee the implementation of any recommendations.

    When the city’s former CFO speaks up about a lack of transparency and objectivity on the part of the city, everyone should sit up and pay attention.

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