Response to complaint to BCUC about 2008 regulatory hearings
A letter from BC Hydro President & CEO Jessica McDonald
On Thursday, December 10th, I received a copy of a file that was sent from Mr. Adrian Dix to the BC Utilities Commission making serious allegations against BC Hydro, its Board and individual employees.
Mr. Dix alleges that specific intentional actions were taken to mislead the BC Utilities Commission regarding an Information Technology and Telecommunications Strategy plan filed with the Commission seven years ago.
I have taken these allegations very seriously and have undertaken an extensive search of internal records to determine the facts.
We are currently continuing to gather the full record, and our response will be submitted to the BC Utilities Commission by January 8, 2016 and released publicly as well, as previously committed. However, at this stage I have reached a number of conclusions.
Mr. Dix alleges that a decision was made to shift vendors for the Enterprise Financials Upgrade prior to testimony given regarding the matter in a BCUC hearing. I have satisfied myself that the final decision on the SAP financial module was made in July 2009, and therefore clearly had not been made by the October 2008 hearing.
Mr. Dix also alleges that the BC Hydro Board approved this shift. BC Hydro's records clearly show that the financial decision was within management signing authority levels and it was not made by the Board. Indeed, BC Hydro internally followed the same phased decision making process as with any other project and was clearly not treating the decision in any unusual manner.
Based on my review to date, I have however become disappointed by the level of transparency in the oral hearing in October 2008. More information should have been proactively provided to give the BCUC insight into the fact that SAP was being considered and was emerging as the preferred option at that time.
My concern is limited to the matter of disclosure during this specific October 2008 oral hearing. While the individual giving testimony is no longer with the company, matters of judgement warrant further investigation and I have initiated an internal review to determine whether violations of BC Hydro's Code of Conduct occurred.
Regardless of the outcome of any BC Utilities Commission process to review this matter, I am taking further actions to address my concerns. I have already put in place a new Chief Information Officer, to take a new management approach to our IT projects and achieve the right outcomes. I have also tasked our Chief Regulatory Officer with implementing a fulsome awareness program throughout the Corporation to ensure that the highest standards of transparency are met, and are seen to be met, in all of our regulatory proceedings.
I have full confidence in my Executive team to support me in these efforts.