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California Energy Commission Independent Review of Dockets and Hearing Offices

At the request of the Executive Director and the Commission Chair, Aspen staff performed a management and operations process review of the Commissions Dockets Office and its Hearing Office.  The review documented the business processes applied in each office and explored specific problems that had been observed such as documents not reaching Commissioners in time for action, documents not being quickly posted to the Commission web site or distributed efficiently, and miscommunication or human error in preparing hearing case decisions.  Electronic docketing or access systems such as those used at the California Public Utilities Commission, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Utah Public Utilities Commission and utilities such as Pacific Gas and Electric Company were also reviewed.  Aspen recommended moving the Dockets office out of the Siting Division; that the positions be upgraded to paralegal so that staff would have the skills to avoid errors and provide useful information; that the Executive Director use discretion allowed by the Commission’s rules to direct use of docketing via email as an interim step while launching an effort to build its own e-filing and posting system; that the Commission explore use of web-based technologies to allow more efficient document sharing during preparation and developed a checklist for use in siting case decision preparation by the Hearing Office.  Most, if not all, of the recommendations either have been or are being implemented.

Practice areas: Energy