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(a) All correspondence with the commission should be addressed to the commission at its principal office and not to an individual staff member or commissioner unless otherwise specifically authorized or directed by the commission. If a written communication to the commission is in response to correspondence or an order of the commission, the response should make reference to the docket number, informal complaint number or file reference used by the commission.
(b) Repealed 6/29/84.
(c) Each written communication should embrace only one subject and should include the name and return address of the sender, the correct docket number and the commission's file reference, if any, to which the communication relates.
(d) If the writer holds a certificate of public convenience and necessity, the certificate holder should use the name on the certificate and state the certificate number. Correspondence not complying with this subsection may be disregarded at the commission's discretion. The commission will, in its discretion, consider any correspondence as an initiatory pleading and proceed accordingly.
(e) Except as provided in 3 AAC 48.240, a written communication is considered to be officially received when delivered to the commission's office. However, a commissioner, or an employee designated by the commission, may also receive written communications away from the commission's office, under conditions prescribed by the commission.
(f) Correspondence signed by an individual staff member or commissioner does not state an official determination by the commission unless the signature is preceded by the recital "By Direction of the Commission." The presence of this recital constitutes presumptive evidence that the signatory has been delegated specific authority to state the commission's official action in the particular matter. Staff correspondence containing routine interpretations regarding tariffs, accounting, or any other matter under a general delegation of authority will not contain the above recital but will, instead, state that the staff interpretation is subject to direct appeal to the commission by application, petition, or motion.
(g) A commissioner, presiding officer, or commission staff member may not, except upon reasonable notice and opportunity for all parties to participate, communicate with a party, including the audits and investigation staff and other affected persons, about any issue of fact, law, or policy in a pending adjudicatory proceeding.
(h) Communications not prohibited by (g) of this section include communications
(1) to discuss scheduling or procedural matters;
(2) between the presiding officer and parties, designed to produce a settlement; with the consent of all parties, the presiding officer may continue to preside in the same proceeding;
(3) between a regulated entity and the commission staff in a preliminary investigation of a tariff filing before suspension under AS 42.05.421 ;
(4) between the commission staff and an applicant for certification, registration, or another ruling by the commission, if the applicant is the only party to a proceeding; or
(5) during a scheduled meeting between commissioners or commission staff members and a regulated entity to discuss utility and pipeline projects, industry trends, technology, and developments, if those persons do not discuss an issue in a pending adjudicatory proceeding; within two business days after that meeting, a commissioner or commission staff member involved in the communication shall submit, by electronic mail or in writing to the commission staff member who supervises the commission's records and filings section, a statement that includes the following information:
(A) to the extent known, the names and addresses of the persons involved in the scheduled meeting;
(B) the date and time of the scheduled meeting, its duration, and the means and circumstances under which it was made;
(C) a summary of matters discussed.
(i) If a person makes or attempts to make an ex parte communication prohibited by (g) of this section, the commissioner, presiding officer, or commission staff member shall advise the person that the communication is prohibited and shall immediately terminate the prohibited communication.
(j) If an ex parte communication prohibited by (g) of this section occurs, the commissioner, presiding officer, or commission staff member involved in the communication shall submit, within two business days after the prohibited ex parte communication occurs, and either by electronic mail or in writing to the commission staff member who supervises the commission's records and filings section and to all commissioners, a statement that includes the following information:
(1) the name and docket number of the proceeding;
(2) to the extent known, the name and address of the person making the communication and the relationship, if any, to the parties to the proceeding;
(3) the date and time of the communication, its duration, and the means by and circumstances under which it was made;
(4) a summary of the matters discussed;
(5) whether and how the person making the prohibited communication was advised that the communication was prohibited.
(k) Within two business days after receiving a statement under (j) of this section, the commission staff member who supervises the commission's records and filings section shall
(1) place the statement in the commission's public file; and
(2) serve a copy of the statement on the parties on the commission's official service list, within each relevant docket.
( l ) The commission staff member who supervises the commission's records and filings section shall maintain a permanent file of any statement filed under (h), (j), and (k) of this section. That statement shall be noticed in the commission's incoming mail report, and the file of statements shall be made available for public inspection at the commission's office during regular business hours.
(m) In this section, "business day" means a day other than Saturday, Sunday, or a state holiday.
History: Eff. 1/13/73, Register 44; am 6/29/84, Register 90; am 4/24/2004, Register 170
Authority: AS 42.05.141
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Last modified 7/05/2006