Enforcement process and reporting

Compliance and enforcement

Ensuring regulated utilities comply with AUC decisions, orders, rules and relevant legislation

​​​Enforcement process

The AUC has a comprehensive, flexible dispute resolution and compliance process which contributes to a broader goal of increasing efficiency and limiting regulatory burden. The AUC approaches its compliance and enforcement work through three​ steps:

Complaints and referrals are received through:

  • Utility customers contacting the AUC directly though our general contact number.
  • Referrals from other agencies.
  • Self-reporting by utility providers.
  • Staff observations.

Complaints and referrals that are determined to include a possible contravention of an AUC decision, order or rule are forwarded to the Commission’s enforcement staff.

Enforcement staff then conduct a preliminary examination to review the circumstances and evaluate the seriousness of the identified conduct.

Commission enforcement staff may close the preliminary examination if:

  • It appears that no contravention can be proven.
  • The information is insufficient to warrant further investigation.
  • The regulated entity voluntarily returned to compliance.

If Commission enforcement staff determine that a preliminary examination may require further action, then a Commission member is assigned. The Commission member will review the matter and determine whether a contravention can be proven and if the information is sufficient to warrant a formal investigation.

As part of the investigation AUC enforcement staff may:

  • Examine available sources of information.
  • Seek input from operational staff.
  • Contact the regulated entity involved for an explanation of its alleged conduct.

At the conclusion of the investigation, the assigned Commission member will review the evidence and determine one of three potential outcomes:

  • The Commission could close its investigation.
  • The Commission could seek an alternative resolution such as voluntary corrective action or a warning.
  • The Commission could initiate an enforcement proceeding.

When considering whether to commence enforcement action (i.e. an enforcement proceeding), the Commission member will consider whether:

  • The alleged contravention appears reasonably likely to be proven on a balance of probabilities.
  • If the enforcement proceeding is in the public interest.

If a formal enforcement proceeding is initiated, the AUC will issue a notice to the alleged contraveners, setting out the particulars of the suspected contravention and the nature of the sanctions being sought.

A division of the Commission will conduct a proceeding to determine the merits of the allegations set out in the notice and decide what, if any, sanctions are warranted.


​Reporting

The April to December 2019 Enforcement Report​ summarizes results of the AUC’s compliance and enforcement activities in 2019 under a number of categories. The 2019 report provides a transparent look at the organizations involved in these, the specific type of contravention (e.g. incorrect bill, disconnection in error) and the bottom-line enforcement outcome of these specified penalty investigations (64​ penalties issued).​​

The Commission intends to issue an enforcement report twice per year.

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