Since the service of water supply and drainage is provided in Federal Capital and Greater Buenos Aires by a state enterprise, a regulator was forced to institute and appoint the "user advocate". But according to a report from the General Audit Office (AGN, for its acronym in Spanish), this process was never completed.
The agency in question is the regulator of Water and Sanitation (ERAS, for its acronym in Spanish). It was created in February 2007, almost a year after the concession contract with Aguas Argentinas (the French group Suez) was rescinded, and the incorporation Water and Sanitation Argentinos (AYSA) appeared under the aegis of the Ministry of Public Works of the Ministry of Federal Planning.
Under the law that created the ERAS, the 26,221 of 2007, the agency is responsible for "the enforcement of the obligations of the concessionaire and shall carry out all necessary measures to comply with the regulatory framework set out in the mission."
According to the AGN, one of these missions was precisely the creation of an ombudsman for the user, which was "institutionally represented in the interests of users in the public hearings, as well as on contentious issues or administrative proceedings in which the ERAS is present."
When the Watchdog asked, the ERAS team itself acknowledged that "the selection process is handled within the file 170/07, because this was not completed, the Ombudsman for the user had not been selected as was required under the regulations." The audit report was approved in March of this year on observations made between July 2008 and February 2009 (however, it is clear that, at present, the situation is still unchanged).
The regulatory framework for water services also provided that the licensee should propose, for the first six months in office, a regulation containing the User steps for citizens to exercise their rights and fulfill their obligations to AySA. While the AGN said that the issuance of these standards was not for the ERAS, it does highlight that its authority figure "the obligation to verify compliance with the Regulations," and adds: "The absence of that regulation does not allow the user to know their rights regarding the protection of their health, safety and economic interests, as well as conditions of fair and decent treatment."
Furthermore, Article 42, subsection 'y', of the regulatory framework entrusted to ERAS conducting and publishing periodic consultations and to measure the degree of user satisfaction surveys. In this regard, ERAS said its management had drawn attention to user satisfaction survey of service provided by AySA, "being in process of implementation for the purposes of its operation by the staff answering the telephone, finding itself available to users, in customer service management and surveys."
Beyond the response, auditors amounted to understand that "they had not yet implemented systems consultations and satisfaction surveys, and therefore (are) pending publication, thus not complying with the applicable regulations purpose.”
On the other hand, the ERAS was required by regulation to publish all resolutions of your directory on the Internet and in the Official Gazette. During the work of the Audit Regulatory Agency it issued 65 resolutions and, of that total, 32 were made public, more than half: "The lack of publicity of the resolutions of the ERAS does not allow the user and the community at large to adequately know and understand in an accurate manner, the information related to the management and operation of the Entity," completed the AGN.