Rate application adjudicative processes and procedures

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Committee on the Procedures and Processes of the Alberta Utilities Commission

Preamble

The Alberta Utilities Commission has established an ad hoc committee to look into the processes and procedures of the Commission for rate-setting cases with the objective of making them more efficient and productive, as per Bulletin 2020-17. The need to examine the Commission’s processes and procedures has been a general discussion point for some time and has most recently received attention as a result of the Alberta government’s policy initiative to reduce red tape for Alberta’s businesses.

The Commission is committed to reforming its processes and procedures and will look to the committee’s findings and recommendations to inform its approach.

Terms of Reference

The committee shall be composed of Kemm Yates, QC, David Mullan and Rowland Harrison, QC. Kemm Yates shall chair the committee. Without limitation, the committee is asked to review the various steps of the decision making processes used by the Commission in its rate-setting function.

The committee is to propose how the Commission’s processes can be made more efficient within the requirements of the principles of procedural fairness, and how the new approaches should be implemented.

The committee will work with Commission staff as necessary to complete its work. The Commission will provide any information and material required by the committee including a description of the process steps typically followed by the Commission upon the filing a rate application; submissions made by industry and customer groups at roundtables on regulatory burden conducted by the Commission in October 2019; submissions made directly to government by the utilities industry in 2019 and 2020; bulletins related to the roundtables issued by the Commission and copies of Improving Regulation Reports filed by the Commission with the provincial government.

The Commission is particularly interested in advice on the following issues but the committee is not restricted to only these issues:

  1. Scoping of issues
  2. Scheduling
  3. Confidentiality
  4. Hearings — written or oral
  5. Interrogatories
  6. Cross-examination — whether to allow and if so when
  7. Motions
  8. Argument — written, oral, timing, order
  9. Adequacy of the record
  10. Panel assertiveness in the hearing room
  11. Content and length of decisions

Interested parties are asked to upload their comments in a document using the "Submit a document" tool below. Stakeholder comments will be accepted until May 22, 2020. These submissions will be publicly available on this page under Consultation submissions. Documents uploaded here will not be immediately visible and may take several days to appear on the Engage platform.

Committee members will consult with Commission members, Commission staff, and counsel and participants in Commission rate-setting proceedings, as deemed necessary by the committee.

The advice on recommended reforms should include a discussion of associated risks, in particular legal risks, arising from moving from traditional procedures and methods to more innovative and flexible approaches as well as any recommendation for legislative change that will improve the efficiency of the Commission’s process and procedures.

The committee has full discretion to determine its processes, and will use its best efforts to provide a written report to the chairman by June 15, 2020.



Committee on the Procedures and Processes of the Alberta Utilities Commission

Preamble

The Alberta Utilities Commission has established an ad hoc committee to look into the processes and procedures of the Commission for rate-setting cases with the objective of making them more efficient and productive, as per Bulletin 2020-17. The need to examine the Commission’s processes and procedures has been a general discussion point for some time and has most recently received attention as a result of the Alberta government’s policy initiative to reduce red tape for Alberta’s businesses.

The Commission is committed to reforming its processes and procedures and will look to the committee’s findings and recommendations to inform its approach.

Terms of Reference

The committee shall be composed of Kemm Yates, QC, David Mullan and Rowland Harrison, QC. Kemm Yates shall chair the committee. Without limitation, the committee is asked to review the various steps of the decision making processes used by the Commission in its rate-setting function.

The committee is to propose how the Commission’s processes can be made more efficient within the requirements of the principles of procedural fairness, and how the new approaches should be implemented.

The committee will work with Commission staff as necessary to complete its work. The Commission will provide any information and material required by the committee including a description of the process steps typically followed by the Commission upon the filing a rate application; submissions made by industry and customer groups at roundtables on regulatory burden conducted by the Commission in October 2019; submissions made directly to government by the utilities industry in 2019 and 2020; bulletins related to the roundtables issued by the Commission and copies of Improving Regulation Reports filed by the Commission with the provincial government.

The Commission is particularly interested in advice on the following issues but the committee is not restricted to only these issues:

  1. Scoping of issues
  2. Scheduling
  3. Confidentiality
  4. Hearings — written or oral
  5. Interrogatories
  6. Cross-examination — whether to allow and if so when
  7. Motions
  8. Argument — written, oral, timing, order
  9. Adequacy of the record
  10. Panel assertiveness in the hearing room
  11. Content and length of decisions

Interested parties are asked to upload their comments in a document using the "Submit a document" tool below. Stakeholder comments will be accepted until May 22, 2020. These submissions will be publicly available on this page under Consultation submissions. Documents uploaded here will not be immediately visible and may take several days to appear on the Engage platform.

Committee members will consult with Commission members, Commission staff, and counsel and participants in Commission rate-setting proceedings, as deemed necessary by the committee.

The advice on recommended reforms should include a discussion of associated risks, in particular legal risks, arising from moving from traditional procedures and methods to more innovative and flexible approaches as well as any recommendation for legislative change that will improve the efficiency of the Commission’s process and procedures.

The committee has full discretion to determine its processes, and will use its best efforts to provide a written report to the chairman by June 15, 2020.


  • Interested parties are asked to upload their comments in a document using the "Submit a document" tool. These submissions will be publicly available on this page under Consultation submissions.

    Documents uploaded here will not be immediately visible on the Engage platform.

    Submit a document
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