Bill S6764-2011

Relates to the electronic service of orders

Relates to the electronic service of orders.



  • Jun 4, 2012: referred to corporations, authorities and commissions
  • Jun 4, 2012: PASSED SENATE
  • May 23, 2012: 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • May 22, 2012: 1ST REPORT CAL.878




VOTE: COMMITTEE VOTE: - Energy and Telecommunications - May 22, 2012
Ayes (10): Maziarz, Alesi, Fuschillo, O'Mara, Ritchie, Robach, Parker, Gianaris, Kennedy, Dilan
Ayes W/R (2): Griffo, Adams




An act to amend the public service law, in relation to electronic service of orders


The bill would amend Public Service Law ("PSL") §23 to authorize electronic service of orders of the Public Service Commission ("Commission") unless otherwise requested by a party to a Commission proceeding.


Section 1 of the bill would amend PSL § 23(1) to allow orders issued by the Commission to be provided by electronic means pursuant to Commission regulations, unless non-electronic service is requested.

Section 2 of the bill would make the bill effective immediately.


PSL §23(1) requires that every order of the Commission be served upon all persons or corporations affected by such order either by: 1) personal delivery; or 2) mail, in a sealed envelope with prepaid postage, addressed to persons designated to receive a summons under the Civil Practice Law and Rules.


A similar proposal was introduced as part of the 2009-20 10 Executive Budget but not included in the enacted Budget.


PSL §23(1) was enacted in 1910 and it mandates either personal delivery or delivery by mail. Today, electronic communication is as reliable as mail. The bill would further the intent of the Electronic Signatures and Records Act ("ESRA"), State Technology Law Article III, which was adopted because "it is in the best interest of the State of New York, its citizens, businesses and government entities for state and federal law to work in tandem to promote the use of electronic technology in the everyday lives and transactions of such individuals and entities." Laws of 2002, Ch. 314, § 1.

The Commission sends out approximately 650 orders annually, which must be sent to multiple parties per case; large proceedings may have over 100 parties. Implementation of electronic service would vastly reduce

the cost of paper, envelopes, printing and mailing, and allow limited staff to focus on other duties. ESRA provides agencies broad authority to seek the savings of electronic transmittal and electronic recordkeeping. However, ESRA implementing regulations, 9 NYCRR §540.5(e), state that "(g)overnmental entities using electronic records shall, in the absence of specific statutory or regulatory requirements, have the authority to specify the manner and format in which electronic records will be received, produced, accepted, acquired, recorded, filed, transmitted, forwarded, acknowledged and stored (emphasis added)." Because, in its current form, PSL §23(1) specifically mandates personal service or "by mailing a copy thereof, in a sealed package with postage prepaid," it precludes electronic service of Commission Orders, without a waiver.

The Commission has recently developed an electronic document management system and promulgated implementing regulations. The Commission now receives a majority of filings electronically, posts all documents filed by every party and all documents issued by the Commission on its web site, and serves Commission-issued documents primarily ALJ rulings, Secretary Notices, and Commission orders - by sending links to the documents to those on its party and service lists who have requested electronic service. Parties requesting mail service of hard copy documents receive such service, as required by ESRA, and that will not change under the proposed legislation. Rather, the legislation would eliminate the need for the Commission to seek explicit consents from each party to waive their right to service by regular mail. Accordingly, parties wishing to receive service of Commission Orders and who request non-electronic service would continue to receive service by either personal delivery or by mail.


A nominal amount of non-personal services savings is projected. There are also large, but unquantifiable, efficiencies due to resources saved in attempting to design, maintain and refine a process for waiver of PSL §23(1).




The bill would be effective immediately upon enactment.


STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6764 IN SENATE March 20, 2012 ___________
Introduced by Sen. RITCHIE -- (at request of the Department of Public Service) -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Energy and Telecommunications AN ACT to amend the public service law, in relation to electronic service of orders THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 1 of section 23 of the public service law, as amended by chapter 310 of the laws of 1974, is amended to read as follows: 1. Every order of the commission shall be served upon every person or corporation to be affected thereby BY ELECTRONIC SERVICE IN A MANNER AND FORMAT PROVIDED FOR IN REGULATIONS ESTABLISHED BY THE COMMISSION OR ALTERNATIVELY, IF NON-ELECTRONIC SERVICE IS REQUESTED BY SUCH PERSON OR CORPORATION, either by personal delivery of a copy thereof[;], or by THE mailing OF a copy thereof, in a sealed package with postage prepaid, to the person to be affected thereby or, in the case of a corporation, to any officer or agent thereof upon whom a summons may be served in accordance with the provisions of the civil practice law and rules. The commission shall provide, upon request, a certified copy thereof or a copy thereof bearing the seal of the commission. Within a time speci- fied in the order of the commission every person and corporation upon whom it is served must if so required in the order notify the commis- sion, in writing, whether the terms of the order are accepted and will be obeyed and in the case of a corporation such notification shall be signed and acknowledged by a person or officer duly authorized by the corporation to execute such acceptance and agreement. Every order of the commission shall take effect at a time therein specified and shall continue in force either for a period which may be designated therein or until changed or abrogated by the commission, unless such order be unau- thorized by this chapter or any other act or be in violation of a provision of the constitution of the state or of the United States. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.


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