Telecom regulator TRAI on Friday notified 17 firms in the panel of auditors which will examine metering and billing system of service providers.
The validity of the panel will be up to July 31, 2017, though TRAI may extend the validity at its discretion.
The operators are required to appoint the auditor by April 30, 2014, for the audit of metering and billing system for financial year 2014-15, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said in a notification.
TRAI said though the service providers are free to engage any auditor from the notified panel, they shall not engage an audit agency consecutively for more than two years.
“They shall also not engage an audit agency, which is currently their statutory auditor or internal auditor or concurrent auditor or has been engaged as consultant,” TRAI said.
TRAI had in March 2013, issued Quality of Service (Code of Practice for Metering and Billing Accuracy) (Amendment) Regulations, 2013, which can impose a financial disincentive of Rs 1 lakh per week on telecom companies for delay in submitting audit and action taken reports.
The regulations were aimed to minimise incidences of billing complaints and seeks to protect the interest of consumers, TRAI had said.
As per the regulations, service providers are required to appoint an auditor from the panel of auditors notified by TRAI to examine at its cost, metering and billing system of landline and wireless services on annual basis.