Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sorenson Slammed by Congress

Sherlock Steve forwarded me an email related to Sorenson being slammed by Congress amid their refusal to be audited. The PDF file below is a long read.

Deception and Distrust (PDF file)

Some things hop out at me after a bit of reading the entire file.

"In addition to the issue of overcompensation, there are questions as to whether all of the minutes that TRS providers submit for compensation have actually been incurred by people with hearing or speech disabilities, and whether provider costs are accurate."

No kidding.

The Nigerian scams for one. Then there's the teens who abuse the system.

Didn't the operators just get the power or ability to cancel these kinds of calls without harm to their jobs? Just spend a day with a relay operator and they'll see the kind of calls they get, which are not always from those with "hearing or speech disabilities" as it puts it. Just talk with my interpreter coordinator friend at a local college who works on the side with Sorenson as operator. He's complained about teens who spend hours and hours just talking.

This report, if you can call it one, doesn't even begin to address these issues. But of course, it's just the beginning.

Then there's this memo on page 42, exhibit 3. There's this interesting part... Page 44, Part D(1) under 'Other issues that affect the size an integrity of the fund.' Read also D(2).

"Consumer advocates are strongly opposed to permitting the CAs to terminate suspected fraudulent calls because it would require them to step out of their role as an invisible conduit."

That's something here... Consumer advocates? Just who the hell are they kidding? Are they advocating their own pockets! Sometimes a CA has to step out of their role. In fact, I welcome that when the need arises.

But there may be some CAs who claim these illegitimate calls as legitimate. How is their pay system set up?

Exhibit 5, page 49. ooh... Classic frustration memo writing here. Check the final paragraph on page 53.

Exhibit 6, page 55. "Sorenson did not permit us access to their staff and the relevant systems to document and test the controls associated with accumulating and reporting the minutes." ouch... Next exhibit... Now how are they doing the billing?

Once they answer these basic questions, I'm sure they can find ways to improve the TRS services.


Sorenson Consumer Policy Board said...

Official statement from Sorenson Consumer Policy Board- Read below and you will see Sorenson did not refuse audit.

J E N N E R & B L O C K
Jenner & Block LLP
1099 New York Avenue, NW
Suite 900
Washington, DC 20001-4412
Tel 202 639-6ooo
Michael B DeSanctis
Tel 202 637-6323
Fax 202 661-4828
mdesanctis@jenner com
New York
Washington, DC

June 24, 2008

To: Mr. Curtis Hagan
Assistant Inspector General - Audits
Office of Inspector General
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, SW, Room 2-C478
Washington, DC 20554
Re: TRS Audit

Dear Mr. Hagan:
The purpose of this letter is to record in writing the following facts: The Office of the Inspector General cancelled KPMG’s on-site visit to Sorenson’s corporate headquarters, which was set to begin June 16, 2008, even though Sorensen was ready, willing and able to accommodate that visit and make substantial data available to your auditors.
As Bill Garay will confirm, I personally inquired at least a dozen times over the last 15 months into when OIG planned to conduct the on-site portion of the audit. On May 27, 2008, Mr. Carnahan told me that he and his staff were ready to visit Sorenson’s offices to conduct the onsite portion of the audit of Sorenson’s recordation and reporting of VRS minutes. I had a
telephonic conversation with Mr. Carnahan on June 3, 2008 in which I confirmed that Sorenson would be available and would welcome the KPMG audit staff beginning Monday, June 16, 2008.
We discussed what his team would need in terms of office space and equipment, and I assured him that we would provide him and KPMG with whatever they needed. We also discussed substantively that we would begin first thing Monday morning by having key employees walk his team through Sorenson’s processes and procedures for the recording and reporting of VRS minutes, and that his team would let us know how they wished to proceed from there. He asked Sorenson to reserve a full week, though he did not know whether KPMG would need all of that time.
Following up on my call with Mr. Carnahan, I sent a confirming letter to you on June 5, 2008, in which I stated “We remain committed to cooperating with OIG in the interests of having the audit completed in a timely manner. To that end, I am writing to confirm that Sorenson has agreed to host Terry Carnahan and his KPMG staff, commencing June 16, 2008, for the onsite
component of the portion of the audit involving Sorenson’s systems and procedures for the recording and reporting of VRS minutes.”
In response, you informed me that you had decided to cancel the on-site visit. You asserted that you and Mr. Carnahan read my June 5 letter as not confirming our willingness to host the on-site audit. In fact, the letter states the exact opposite. Moreover, on June 12,1 told you that we still
were ready, willing and able to host your audit commencing on June 16. Indeed, I called you that day from Salt Lake City, where I was involved in the preparations for KPMG’s visit. You made it clear at that time that KPMG would not visit on June 16, and that you were not interested in rescheduling for a later date.
During our June 12 call, you complained that in my June 5 letter I identified confidential data and information that should not be shared with the public or with other offices or bureaus within the Commission. However, I provided that information in writing to you because you had suggested that I do so in our earlier phone conversation on May 29, 2008. That suggestion was consistent with my previous conversation with David Hunt and Carla Conover, who informed me in an in-person meeting on May 14, 2008, that it is and always has been OIG’s policy to keep confidential all non-public information produced by TRS providers during the course of an audit
and that such information would not be disclosed to the public or shared with other bureaus within the Commission. See Letter from M. DeSanctis to W. Garay, May 22, 2008.
Under these circumstances, the OIG bears complete and total responsibility for not undertaking the planned on-site minute audit. We did exactly as you had asked in identifying our confidential information and confirming that we would host the KPMG team beginning June 16. Moreover, over the past 15 months, we have now incurred substantial costs for an audit that you apparently no longer wish to hold. We remain willing, as always, to host the on-site minute audit and would be amendable to speaking with you about rescheduling.

Michael B. DeSanctis
Counsel for Sorenson Communications, Inc.
cc: Kent Nilsson, Inspector General

OCDAC said...

Trinity logic states renewal begins with destruction.

Renewing the TRS trust with the funders may have to begin with the destruction of TRS providers that are abusing and taking advantage of the TRS system.

The probe preludes the destruction.

Anonymous said...

Yeah its time they find out whether the installer's hours have been billed as relay service minutes.

Were gonna see what goes on in this complicated hive.