OPA: GWA & GPA pay raises violated the Open Government Law

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The Office of Public Accountability (OPA) has concluded that the Consolidated Commission on Utilities (CCU) did not comply with the Open Government Law when it discussed and decided on the employees’ salaries and bonuses during their executive meetings.

In an audit report released today, the OPA determined that the CCU also violated Public Law 33-123 when it gave bonuses to certain unclassified employees after February 2016.

As a result, the OPA is questioning the validity of $1.3 million in salaries and benefits for GPA and GWA employees.

Although both GPA and GWA general managers received pay increments and bonuses between fiscal years 2015 and 2019, the CCU did not conduct formal performance evaluations for these officials. Therefore, OPA questioned the CCU’s basis and measure of its approval on the general managers’ pay raises and bonuses.

OPA also found that the former GWA chief financial officer was hired by the CCU through a contract arrangement for 11 years. However, there was no contract in place. OPA thus questioned the $1.3 million paid to the former CFO from 2008 to 2018 as there were no proper documents to support his employment at GWA.

As OPA has limited access to employee personal information, this matter was referred to the Attorney General’s Office for further investigation.

In October 2017, the CCU approved and authorized GPA and GWA to implement structural pay adjustments to the 15th and 10th market percentiles, respectively. But OPA observed that the salaries of certain GWA and GPA unclassified employees were inconsistent with the CCU authorized pay range.

OPA made two recommendations to the CCU and two recommendations to the AG.