Requires a party to file notice of ex parte communications in proceedings involving the validity or application of rates, facilities, or practices of public utilities or carriers.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the state administrative procedure act, in relation to ex parte communications
PURPOSE: This bill would require any party involved in proceedings before the State Public Service Commission (PSC) to give written notification of any ex parte communications with the PSC to other affected parties, if such communications are otherwise permitted under SAPA.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: The State Administrative Procedure Act is amended to provide that, where ex parte communications are permitted before the Public Service Commission, there will be a requirement that communicating parties file a notice and summary of such communications with the Commission and serve all parties to the proceeding.
JUSTIFICATION: The current provisions of the State Administrative Procedure Act prohibit certain ex parte communications with the Public Service Commission. The bill amends this section to require that, where communications are permitted under the Act, communicating parties must file and serve a notice and summary of such communication with the Commission and the parties to the relevant proceeding. Such notice will ensure that all parties are aware of communications and able to respond to arguments made or information provided.
These provisions are very similar to the ex parte rules that apply to the Federal Communications Commission, and balance Department Staff and Commissioners' need to access information with parties' due process rights.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S4936/A10656 of 2011-12; Referred to Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1088 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. MAZIARZ -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Commerce, Economic Devel- opment and Small Business AN ACT to amend the state administrative procedure act, in relation to ex parte communications THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 2 of section 307 of the state administrative procedure act is amended to read as follows: 2. Unless required for the disposition of ex parte matters authorized by law, members or employees of an agency assigned to render a decision or to make findings of fact and conclusions of law in an adjudicatory proceeding shall not communicate, directly or indirectly, in connection with any issue of fact, with any person or party, nor, in connection with any issue of law, with any party or his representative, except upon notice and opportunity for all parties to participate. Any such agency member (a) may communicate with other members of the agency, and (b) may have the aid and advice of agency staff other than staff which has been or is engaged in the investigative or prosecuting functions in connection with the case under consideration or factually related case. This subdivision does not apply (a) in determining applications for initial licenses for public utilities or carriers; or (b) to proceedings involving the validity or application of rates, facilities, or practices of public utilities or carriers; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT WHEN EX PARTE COMMUNICATIONS IN SUCH PROCEEDINGS TAKE PLACE OUTSIDE OF A SETTLEMENT PROCESS, COLLABORATIVE OR OTHER AGENCY-SANCTIONED EVENT, THE PARTY SHALL FILE WITH THE AGENCY A NOTICE AND SUMMARY OF SUCH COMMUNICATION, WHICH SHALL BE SERVED ON ALL PARTIES TO THAT PROCEEDING. S 2. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become a law.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD02263-01-3