Regulator denies NS Power bid to keep audit under wraps9/12/2012
Nova Scotia Power's bid to delay the release of details from a controversial audit report was turned down Wednesday by the provincial regulator.
A routine audit prepared by Liberty Consulting Group of Quentin, Pa., for the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board filed in July concluded that Nova Scotia Power overspent $22 million on fuel during the past two years.
Nova Scotia Power then submitted a version of the audit to the review board that contained sections that were heavily redacted because they contained commercially sensitive information, as well as alleged defamatory materials that would cause "specific and serious harm" to the utility's reputation.
At an Aug. 30 hearing convened by the review board after requests by several parties to have the non-commercial aspects of the audit made public, the utility asked that the redacted version remain in place until after an Oct. 29 hearing on the report's findings.
On Wednesday, however, the board ruled that all redactions made for reputational reasons be removed and made public.
"In the board's view, granting NSPI's request would set a troubling precedent as the board fully expects NSPI would attempt to use it to shield future criticisms from public view," the provincial regulator said in its decision.
Liberty Consulting will now provide an updated version of the audit as "soon as conveniently possible."
(The Chronicle Herald)