PUC Bureaus and Offices
The Executive Director is responsible for the oversight of the day-to-day management of the Commission functions and staff. This position is responsible for the planning, direction and organization of the overall operations of the Commission. Also, the executive director develops, recommends to the Commissioners and implements the PUC’s strategic plans and policies.
Director of Regulatory Affairs
The Director of Regulatory Affairs oversees the PUC’s bureaus with regulatory functions, including the Bureau of Audits, the Bureau of Consumer Services, the Bureau of Technical Utility Services, the Office of Special Assistants and the Office of Administrative Law Judge . The Director of Regulatory Affairs also is responsible for planning, organizing, coordinating, directing and overseeing regulatory staff.
Bureau of Administration
The Bureau of Administration is responsible for overseeing administrative and personnel functions. The Bureau is comprised of the Office of Human Resources, which is responsible for handling all personnel issues, and providing administrative and advisory services to all PUC management; Management Information Systems which oversees information and technology; and the Office of Administrative Services which is responsible for the preparation of the Commission’s budget, collection of assessments, various fiscal operations, processing of contracts, and office services.
Office of Administrative Law Judge
The Office of Administrative Law Judge (OALJ) provides conflict resolution by independent administrative law judges. Judges preside at formal hearings in contested matters before the PUC, gather all the facts relating to an individual case, prepare written decisions outlining the issues and recommend resolutions to the disputes. The OALJ includes a mediation unit and a mediation coordinator. It is the PUC’s policy to encourage mediation and settlement rather than to see the parties engage in what may become lengthy and expensive litigation during the formal hearing process. Mediation is a voluntary, confidential and non-binding process through which a neutral third party, the mediator, assists the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable settlement of their disputes.
Find information on the goals and guidelines of mediation here.
Bureau of Audits
The Bureau of Audits is responsible for the conduct of audit activity of Pennsylvania fixed utilities, including Adjustment Clause Audits, Financial Audits and Management Audits and Management Efficiency Investigations. Learn more about the Bureau of Audits here.
Office of Communications
The Office of Communications is accountable for Commission media relations, employee communications and consumer education, in addition to acting as the lead staff for the Consumer Advisory Council. The Office of Communications is responsible for issuing press releases, responding to media calls, special consumer-education campaigns, distributing educational materials, informing consumers about programs and rights, creating internal and external newsletters and other publications, and coordinating the PUC's website.
Bureau of Consumer Services
The Bureau of Consumer Services responds to consumer complaints, provides utility-related information to consumers and monitors utility compliance with PUC regulations and evaluates utility performance. The bureau consists of a Division of Customer Assistance and Complaints and a Division of Policy. Learn more about the Bureau of Consumer Services here.
Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement
The Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement serves as the prosecutory bureau for purposes of representing the public interest in ratemaking and service matters before the Office of Administrative Law Judge, and enforcing compliance with the state and federal motor carrier safety and gas safety laws and regulations. The bureau handles rail safety enforcement proceedings that are referred by the Bureau of TUS. The Bureau also prepares reports for the Commission, provides technical support for other bureaus and participates in working groups on energy issues.
The Law Bureau provides legal support to other Commission bureaus and the Commission directly on regulatory matters involving fixed utilities and common carriers. Law Bureau attorneys represent the Commission in all appellate and original jurisdiction actions before state and federal courts.
The Commission has authorized the Law Bureau to intervene in cases before federal forums in which communications and energy related issues affecting Pennsylvania are decided. It surveys issues and proceedings before federal agencies, courts and the Congress with the aim of formulating appropriate Commission input when public utility issues arise.
Office of Legislative Affairs
The Director of Legislative Affairs is the Commission’s link with the state General Assembly, the Governor’s Administration, the U.S. Congress and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. It is also responsible for contact with the Independent Regulatory Review Commission regarding Commission regulations. The office receives hundreds of inquiries regarding utility matters and constituent problems and directs the flow of information for a timely resolution.
The Secretary is the Commission’s officer over whose signature all official actions and decisions are issued. The Secretary serves as the prothonotary of the Commission and is thereby responsible for the acceptance of filings and the docketing, safekeeping, control, dissemination, retention and retrieval of all documents. All correspondence and filings before the Commission must be addressed to the Secretary.
After formal Commission action, the Secretary’s Bureau is responsible for dissemination of necessary information and the service of all official actions. This is accomplished by issuing an Order or Secretarial Letter to all appropriate parties or individuals whether they be internal staff, participants to a proceeding, or members of the general public.
The Secretary's Bureau coordinates the development of the Commission’s public meeting agenda, and the Secretary and/or Assistant Secretary sits at all formal public meetings of the Commission to ensure that the agenda is completed and that the minutes are properly recorded and subsequently maintained.
Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission
PO Box 3265
Harrisburg, PA 17105-3265
Office of Special Assistants
The Office of Special Assistants (OSA) provides technical and legal assistance to the Commissioners in all aspects of public utility regulation and enforcement. It is the coordinator of the preparation of final Commission orders. Duties include preparing final orders; reviewing Administrative Law Judge decisions; administering requests for extensions of time to file exceptions and/or reply exceptions to Initial Decisions; and reviewing petitions for rehearing, reconsideration, modification or clarification of final Commission orders.
Bureau of Technical Utility Services
The Bureau of Technical Utility Services serves as the principal technical advisory bureau to the Commission regarding fixed and transportation utility regulatory matters, as well as serves as an adviser to the PUC on technical issues for electric, natural gas, water, wastewater, and telecommunications utilities. The Bureau offers policy recommendations on rates, tariffs and regulatory matters, processes fixed utility applications, and coordinates emergency operations of utilities. The Bureau processes filings such as securities certificates and affiliated interest agreements. The Bureau also reviews and maintains county 911 system plans; telecommunications relay service reports; annual financial reports; and utility tariffs.
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