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The Auditor General presented to the Speaker the Report “ARMS Ltd – Follow-up to the 2011 Auditor General Report ‘ARMS Ltd. – Setting up and Operations’ and ancillary topics.”
This exercise addressed issues and concerns identified in the 2011 Report. Additionally the exercise covered concerns featuring in the Malta Resources Authority second technical review, also published in 2011. Issues related to smart meter tampering and the local implementation of the (smart meter) programme were also analysed as part of the National Audit Office exercise.
Salient findings emanating from the exercise as at August 2012 and featuring in the Report follow:
· Low level of online activity by clients
· Better debtors management
· Improvement in calls taken and in service/waiting times for visiting clients
· Improvement in the one-stop-shop concept
· Increase in abandoned calls
· Improved billing frequency and less locked readings
· No improvement in bill reversal occurrence
· Organisational performance reporting is still based on indicators that need revisiting
· There is sustained resistance to resort to statistical analysis of complaints
Smart meter tampering
· Enemalta Corporation asserts that the chosen technologies are robust and resilient, resulting in a well-protected system
· Protection is a mix of prevention and corrective action following detection
· Hardware obsolescence is reduced through contractual arrangements for upgrades
Smart meter programme – local implementation
· Go-live has been postponed by twelve months from January to December 2013
· Implementation is currently behind the revised schedule
· Connection to the back-end is based on the big-bang approach
In its Report, on the basis of the above and other findings featuring in the Report, the National Audit Office recommends that ARMS Ltd. review its performance indicators, agree to service levels with Enemalta and Water Services Corporations, strengthen its Revenue Assurance function and assume a more customer oriented role.
As regards smart meters technologies deployed, the National Audit Office is reasonably assured, on the basis of information submitted by Enemalta Corporation, of the resilience and robustness of the systems deployed, as long as these are supported by a rigorous monitoring and control mechanism. The significant postponement of the go-live date for completion of meter installations and meter-to-back-end connection is of concern to the National Audit Office.
This Report may be accessed through the NAO website www.nao.gov.mt.