The Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining’s (OGM) Oil and Gas Program recently underwent a legislative audit completed by the Office of the Legislative Auditor General. Audit results, as well as the division’s response, are available at OGM.Utah.Gov/Audit.
In an effort to bolster a culture of compliance, the division has created an action plan to improve regulatory responsibilities, prioritization, oversight of inspections and financial management. The actions will also increase enforcement, refine program and employee performance metrics and update existing administrative bonding rules as recommended by the audit.
“We are taking this audit very seriously. It has been a painful process to see where we have fallen short, but we are dedicated to improving our leadership, culture and expectations,” stated Division Director John Baza. “Utahns need to know that we are protecting public safety and the environment while performing our jobs as oil and gas regulators. This audit gives us guidance on how to better fulfill that mission.”
Division staff welcomed the identification of program deficiencies and will continue developing strategies to improve policies and procedures. Acting Deputy Director Bart Kettle said the program will address the audit recommendations by addressing three deficiency categories: processes, technology and resources.
“We have to hold ourselves accountable to all of the improvements we’ve identified,” stated Kettle. “We will maximize our current resources, improve processes and better utilize technology.”
Examples of commitments include:
- Fill all vacant positions within the program
- Expand reporting categorization
- Streamline fining processes while encouraging a statute change to allow the Board of Oil, Gas and Mining to collect fines directly as is the practice in other western states.