New Chairman Tackling Challenges at the Montana PSC
Jim Brown is new to the Montana Public Service Commission, but it looks like the commissioner from the Southwestern district is already looking to tackle the major issues head on.
Brown was also chosen to serve as Chairman of the Montana Public Service Commission following his election to the office in November of 2020.
One of the issues Brown is tackling right now is fixing the errors identified in an audit that showed several problems at the PSC, "including falsified records, improper travel expenses, and poor financial management."
According to a press release from Montana Senate Republican leadership:
Multiple lawmakers, both Republican and Democrat, thanked Chairman Brown for appearing before the committee, answering tough questions, and recognized his efforts taking on the difficult task of reforming the PSC and cleaning up problems from his predecessors.
Tom Lutey reported the details from the legislative audit for the Billings Gazette. Here's an excerpt:
Commissioners aren’t supposed to spend money on travel without getting the approval of another commissioner. But in 33 travel instances reviewed, there were 13 times when a commissioner didn’t seek approval for expenses totaling $15,000.
Senate Republican leaders said that the issue will be addressed again later in the Fall.
The committee voted unanimously that due to the numerous problems identified in the recent audit, the PSC would need to reappear before the committee in October and provide an update on its progress to fix the issues discovered by legislative auditors.
Video of the hearing is available at www.leg.mt.gov.
LOOK: Here are the best small towns to live in across America