The CPUC has opened a
formal investigation into whether PG&E has corporate governance, clearly documented organizational
goals and objectives, and work procedures that prioritize and improve
safety. “A public utility’s track record of safely operating its system
is dependent on more than messages and slogans. An effective safety culture
is shaped by the governance, policies, budget, practices, and most of all, the
accountability set by the top leadership,” said CPUC President Michael Picker.
The CPUC will accordingly evaluate PG&E’s and PG&E
Corporation’s organizational culture, governance, policies, practices, and
accountability metrics in relation to PG&E’s record of operations,
including its record of safety incidents. The CPUC will analyze the
methods Board of Directors and executive leadership use to hold themselves and
management accountable for their decisions and actions, including executive
PG&E has invested in safety improvements, added new Board members
with safety experience, and reorganized to prioritize gas operations
safety. But accidents and events affecting the safety of the general
public, its customers, and others continue to occur on PG&E’s system,
prompting the CPUC to take a deeper look into PG&E’s safety culture.
“We need to get at the root of the problem and determine why PG&E
keeps having safety related issues,” said CPUC President Picker.
“Performance is still uneven. The safety and well-being of the public,
ratepayers, its employees and contractors, the utility assets, and the
environment should be every utility’s paramount priority.”
The CPUC’s Safety and Enforcement Division will retain the services
of an independent expert consultant(s) with experience in auditing corporate
governance and accountability to assist in the investigation and reporting, not
to exceed $2 million. PG&E will reimburse the CPUC for the expert
consultant services. The CPUC will issue a public report on the findings,
and propose remedies, if needed.
To monitor the proceeding, please subscribe to receive
electronic copies of documents related to the proceeding. Instructions
for enrolling in the free subscription service are available on the CPUC’s website.