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Policies and Guidelines

1.   An item appearing on the public agenda shall be voted upon, withdrawn or continued to a Commission meeting date certain.  A list of items appearing on the public agenda that are continued to future meetings ("held list") shall be made available to the public the day before each Commission meeting along with the date of the meeting to which the items (except for executive session items) are continued.  Items held at the behest of an individual Commissioner shall include a statement of the reason for the hold.  The held list may be updated as a result of public discussion (or non-public discussion, in the case of executive session items) during the course of the Commission meeting.  
2.   An item appearing on the held list, as modified during a Commission meeting, shall be set for the public agenda on the Commission meeting date indicated on the held list.  In the event that no date is clearly designated on the held list, the item shall be set for the next meeting and shall be so reflected in the public agenda therefor.
3.   Except when the return date and reasons for a hold are stated at a Commission meeting, a Commissioner shall state in written form the date of return to the agenda and the reason therefor on an item each time a hold is requested.  This hold list and the Commissioner's reasons therefor shall be made available to the public (except for executive session items) on the Commission's web site as soon as practicable.  An individual Commissioner may hold any public agenda or executive session item for no more than two successive Commission meetings or, if not successive, a total of two one meeting continuances. The total number of holds permitted for any one item by all Commissioners shall be six; after a total of six such holds, a Commissioner or Commissioner who has not exercised his or her two hold maximum is precluded from doing so. For stated extraordinary circumstances, a majority may vote to hold an item for additional meetings.  No hold may violate the applicable legislative deadlines discussed below in Item #4.
4.   Public Utilities Code Sections 1701.1 et seq. govern the timing for resolving Commission proceedings that have been subject to evidentiary hearing.  Adjudicatory cases must be resolved within 12 months of initiation unless the Commission makes findings why that deadline cannot be met and issues an order extending that deadline. In ratesetting or quasi-legislative proceedings, the Commission must resolve the issues raised in the scoping memo within 18 months of the date the scoping memo is issued, unless the Commission makes a written determination that the deadline cannot be met, including findings as to the reason, and issues an order extending the deadline. The Commission may specify in a scoping memo a resolution date later than 18 months from the date the scoping memo is issued, if that scoping memo includes specific reasons for the necessity of a later date and the Commissioner assigned to the case approves the date. Neither the Commission, individual Commissioners, nor the staff shall hold items such that matters are resolved beyond the applicable legislative deadlines, including extensions, if any.
5.   Each item on the Commission's public agenda shall state the initial date the matter appeared on the public agenda, each date the item previously appeared on the agenda, and the applicable categorization for ex parte rule purposes.
6.   All cover sheets on decisions, resolutions, memoranda, and other matters pertaining to public agenda items shall state in a consistent position (as designated by the chief administrative law judge) the current agenda placement number, the date of the meeting at which it is to be considered, the applicable categorization for ex parte rule purposes and its agenda identification number.
7.   All decisions, draft decisions and proposed decisions shall state the name of any assigned Commissioner and administrative law judge.  In the event that a decision reflects a result or opinion with which the administrative law judge (or other hearing officer) disagrees, the opinion shall reflect such disagreement but shall nonetheless designate the person who served as hearing officer.
8.   All executive session meetings shall be recorded electronically, or by tape recorder and the recordings shall be maintained for at least one year.  Recordings shall be made available to a Commissioner on request.
9.   Any letter or other written communication that represents a significant policy statement by a Commissioner or director level staff member to a government agency, government official or media representative made on behalf of the Public Utilities Commission shall be made available to all other Commissioners contemporaneously with its being sent.  This rule does not apply to routine business correspondence, routine legal filings and routine data and information requests.    Correspondence reflecting the personal opinion of an individual Commissioner shall not be subject to this provision so long as it contains a disclaimer to that effect.
10.   Any report submitted on behalf of the Commission to the legislature, individual legislators, or the governor's office shall be made available to all other Commissioner's two business days prior to release to the intended recipient.
11.   Each Commissioner shall be entitled to all books and papers pertaining to his office, or in the custody of a former incumbent of his office (Government Code §1850).
12.   All Commission staff shall promptly respond to all reasonable requests for information by Commissioners, to the extent permitted by law.
13.   The Commission is committed to open and constructive information flow in order to make sure that each vote is taken from an informed viewpoint, and that the advantages and disadvantages of decisions are weighed seriously and frankly.
14.   Only the assigned Commissioner (as defined in Public Utilities Code §§311, 1701.1, 1701.2, and 1701.4) may place an assigned matter on the agenda for decision, except that any Commissioner may place such assigned matter on the agenda for status report and/or discussion, or for an order extending time pursuant to Public Utilities Code §§ 1701.2(d) or 1701.5(a).   Any Commissioner may place any other matter [e.g., resolutions, legislative items, personnel matters, management and Commissioner reports, external agency matters, appeals, potential and actual litigation, rehearings, originating orders initiating investigations (OIIs), originating orders initiating rulemaking (OIRs), assignment or reassignment of cases to Commissioners, or new matters] on the agenda for discussion or action by the Commission.  Placement of matters on the agenda pursuant to this section shall comport with due process requirements, the rules of the Commission, and the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act (Government Code §11120 et seq.).  Whenever possible, non–routine matters should be brought by Commissioners to the attention of the chief administrative law judge or the general counsel for advice and assistance on their legal form and sufficiency prior to their being placed on the agenda.  Nothing in this provision shall be deemed to restrict the Commission's power to delegate to divisions or designated employees the power to place matters on the agenda.
15.   These policies and guidelines shall be permanently posted on the Commission's web site under the title "Policies and Guidelines."  These policies and guidelines are effective upon adoption.  

Last Modified: 2/11/2014

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