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PUC Head Takes Responsibility For Budget Errors

The head of the California Public Utilities Commission said at no point did budget forecasting mistakes lead to ratepayers being overcharged. Two state audits that found the mistakes were the subject of a legislative hearing Wednesday.

The Department of Finance and the Legislative Analyst’s Office released audits earlier this year that showed widespread budgeting errors at the PUC that totalemd hundreds of million dollars. Lawmakers grilled PUC Executive Director Paul Clanon at a legislative hearing, including Democratic Assembly member Richard Gordon.

“How do we know for sure that ratepayers haven’t been harmed that the public’s interest have been protected, and how can you ever restore the public’s trust in this environment?", said Gordon.

Clanon said budget forecasting errors have been resolved, and the Commission has implemented audit recommendations. But he admitted that restoring trust will take time.

“Once you create an issue create a concern in the public view about trust, it takes years to get that back, and I don’t make any bones about that," said Clanon.

The audits revealed ineffective management practices and that only one employee oversaw 14 special funds.

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