Requires notice of any ex parte communications or visits before the public service commission by a party to a hearing or investigation be given in writing to any affected party and to give such affected parties an opportunity to respond.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public service law and the state administrative procedure act, in relation to ex parte communications
PURPOSE: This bill is designed to require any party involved in hearings or investigations before the State Public Service Commission (PSC) to give written notification of any ex parte communications or visits with the PSC to other affected parties, and to give those other parties an opportunity to respond.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: The public service law is amended by adding a new section 20-a which provides that all parties involved in hearings or investigations with the Public Service Commission shall receive written notification of all ex parte communications and visits and shall have an opportunity to respond.
JUSTIFICATION: This bill will end off-the-record contacts by staff members of the Public Service Commission with the companies they oversee, Under the provision, any party talking to state PSC employees about a case would have to notify other parties in the case, thereby eliminating the appearance of favoritism toward one side or another in a Public Service Commission case.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: This bill has been introduced in previous legislative sessions.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 467 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. STAVISKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Energy and Telecommuni- cations AN ACT to amend the public service law and 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. The public service law is amended by adding a new section 20-a to read as follows: S 20-A. EX PARTE COMMUNICATIONS. WITH REGARD TO ALL HEARINGS BEFORE THE COMMISSIONER OR AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE SPECIALLY AUTHORIZED TO CONDUCT AN INVESTIGATION OR HEARING, ALL PARTIES SHALL RECEIVE WRITTEN NOTICE OF ALL EX PARTE COMMUNICATIONS AND VISITS AND SHALL HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO RESPOND. S 2. Subdivision 2 of section 307 of the state administrative proce- dure 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 proceedingsS 3. 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. LBD02736-01-3 S. 467 2
involving the validity or application of rates, facilities, or practices of public utilities or carriers.]