February 8th, in Sacramento, Assemblyman Jay Obernolte (R-Hesperia)
announced the introduction of a bill that seeks to improve transparency and
accountability at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). Assembly
Bill 1651 would require the CPUC to post awarded contracts and audits on its
website for the public to freely access.
August 2015, the Assembly Committee on
Utilities and Commerce (which includes Assemblyman Obernolte as a member)
convened a hearing on CPUC contracting practices, including an examination of
CPUC competitive solicitation practices and adherence to state contracting
rules. The hearing raised questions about the level of oversight and
transparency on contracts involving the CPUC and the utilities it regulates.
1651 is intended to address this issue.
“One of the CPUC’s core functions is to foster a fair
contracting process that ensures public utilities are providing ratepayers with
reliable service at reasonable rates,” Obernolte said. “Given the concerns that
have been raised, my hope is that AB 1651 will shine a light on these
contracting practices and provide the public with the tools needed to keep the
Introduced by Assemblyman Obernolte
Jay Obernolte represents the 33rd Assembly District, which
includes the San Bernardino County communities of Adelanto, Apple Valley,
Baker, Barstow, Big Bear City, Big Bear Lake, Big River, Crestline, Fort Irwin,
Hesperia, Johnson Valley, Lake Arrowhead,
Lucerne Valley, Needles, Oak Hills, Phelan, Running Springs, Silver Lakes,
Trona, Twentynine Palms Base, Twin Peaks and Victorville.