Audit  Audit of the Department of Public Utilities

The audit examined whether DPU's Transportation Network Company Division (TNCD) ensures that transportation network companies conducted background record checks of their drivers and that they levied sanctions against drivers whose Clearance Certificates were suspended or revoked. The audit also examined if the TNCD ensured TNCs investigated and resolved all rideshare complaints. The audit looked at the period of October 1, 2017 through August 31, 2019.

Organization: Office of the State Auditor
Date published: November 23, 2021

Overview

In accordance with Section 12 of Chapter 11 of the Massachusetts General Laws, the Office of the State Auditor has conducted a performance audit of the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) for the period October 1, 2017 through August 31, 2019. The purpose of this audit was to determine whether DPU’s Transportation Network Company Division ensured that transportation networkcompanies’1  (TNCs’) drivers were eligible to provide rideshare services2 and whether the division ensured that TNCs investigated and resolved consumer complaints against rideshare drivers3 and riders.

Below is a summary of our findings and recommendations, with links to each page listed.

Finding 1a
Page 14

The Transportation Network Company Division did not always perform quarterly audits.

Finding 1b
Page 14

Rideshare applicants did not pass national background record checks.

Finding 1c
Page 15

TNCs did not always perform six-month national background record checks.

Finding 1d
Page 15

TNCs did not confirm that rideshare drivers who were not eligible to provide services had been denied access to the TNCs’ digital networks.

Recommendation
Page 17

The Transportation Network Company Division should establish written policies and procedures for auditing TNCs and establish a monitoring process to ensure that TNCs take appropriate actions against rideshare drivers whose Clearance Certificates have been suspended or revoked.

Finding 2
Page
23

The Transportation Network Company Division did not ensure that TNCs investigated and resolved all rideshare complaints.

Recommendations
Page
24

  1. The Transportation Network Company Division should establish policies, procedures, and controls for administration of TNC complaint reports and monitoring controls to ensure that TNCs provide the required reports on schedule.
  2. The Transportation Network Company Division should establish a standard report format or guidelines for TNCs to follow when reporting complaints.

 

A PDF copy of the Audit of the Department of Public Utilities is available here.

1. Section 1 of Chapter 159A1/2 of the General Laws defines “transportation network company” as “a corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship or other entity that uses a digital network to connect riders to drivers to pre-arrange and provide transportation.”

2. A rideshare is an arrangement for an automobile trip where the passenger pays a fare to a driver who is using a privately owned vehicle, where both the passenger and the driver use a network that is accessed through a mobile software application or a website to arrange the ride.

3. Rideshare drivers are independent contractors working for TNCs to drive riders to prearranged destinations using a mobile software application.

Downloads

Contact

Feedback