Prominent Accountant Uncovers Failures in Winter Storm Uri Audit | Calendar

Former Oklahoma Accountancy Board Chairman Criticizes OCC’s Winter Storm Audits

Renowned accountant and former chairman of the Oklahoma Accountancy Board, David Greenwell, has raised serious concerns about the Oklahoma Corporation Commission’s audits of the 2021 Winter Storm costs. In a detailed 41-page filing, Greenwell pointed out that the audits conducted by the OCC do not meet the requirements of state law.

The Winter Storm in February 2021 led to almost $3 billion in expenses for utilities like OG&E, ONG, PSO, and Summit. To recover these costs, the legislature and OCC authorized the utilities to pass the debt onto customers using ratepayer-backed bonds. However, Commissioner Bob Anthony has been questioning the audit activities of the OCC’s Public Utility Division since September 2022.

Greenwell highlighted that state law mandates audits to be conducted by Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards in the United States. He emphasized that none of the OCC’s Winter Storm audits were conducted by independent, licensed CPAs as required by law.

Commission Chair Todd Hiett defended the OCC’s audit process, stating that it was a simple financial calculation to ensure proper collections from ratepayers. However, Greenwell’s analysis contradicts this, stating that the law clearly requires a comprehensive audit process.

In response to Greenwell’s filing, Commissioner Anthony praised his accounting expertise and dedication to ensuring transparency and accountability in the OCC’s audit processes. Greenwell’s detailed assessment has shed light on potential shortcomings in the OCC’s audit practices, urging the agency to align its procedures with state statutes and auditing standards.

The full 41-page filing by David Greenwell can be accessed online, providing a comprehensive overview of his concerns regarding the OCC’s audit activities. Commissioner Anthony has also shared additional references and filings related to the ongoing audit issues, emphasizing the importance of addressing these discrepancies for the benefit of Oklahoma ratepayers.