Corporate District Council of Coober Pedy – Compliance review

  • Project Released: 5 Feb 2021
  • Project Closes: 5 Feb 2021
  • Contact: Laura McDonald

Overview

The District Council of Coober Pedy (DCCP) has an electricity and a water licence issued by the Commission, authorising it to provide electricity and water services to more than 1,600 customers in Coober Pedy. 

The Commission has undertaken a review to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the DCCP’s compliance systems, processes, controls and documentation. 

 

Status

Current status is Final

  • Final

Final

In 2018-19, the Commission commenced compliance action in relation to the DCCP’s compliance with its water and electricity licences, legislation and codes. The Commission found areas of non-compliance and required the DCCP to review, amend and implement revised compliance systems, processes, controls and documentation. 

The Commission has closely monitored the DCCP’s progress in responding to those requirements, and has undertaken this review to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the DCCP’s revised compliance systems, processes, controls and documentation. 

The Commission’s compliance framework promotes and facilitates compliance by regulated entities with their regulatory obligations. Under this framework, the Commission expects regulated essential service providers to have and maintain robust compliance and reporting systems. 

As the relevant licensing authority, and consistent with its general powers and functions under the Essential Services Commission Act 2002, the Commission has compliance and enforcement powers in relation to the performance of licensees.

Findings

Although the DCCP has made significant progress in improving its compliance systems, processes, controls and documentation, there are still issues that require attention. These include, staff training, staff contingency plans, debt management and hardship policies.  

The key findings are:

  • The DCCP does not have in place an approved Debt Recovery Policy that documents current practices.
  • The DCCP’s communication material and customer engagement requires improvement.
  • The DCCP must take steps to avoid the escalation of customer debts.
  • The DCCP’s staff training and contingency plans for staff turnover require improvement.
  • The DCCP’s annual compliance reporting and performance reporting is not being correctly completed.

Next steps

The Commission requires the DCCP to resolve the issues identified, and may take compliance action in accordance with the Commission’s Enforcement Policy, if necessary, to protect consumers’ long-term interests with respect to the price, quality and reliability of the essential services.  

The Commission accepts that the DCCP has already made efforts to work diligently towards compliance and it will further evaluate progress through monitoring and assessing progress against the DCCP’s action plan for compliance.

The full report can be accessed below.