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HB17-1323

PUC Ethics Add Consumer Protection

Concerning measures to enhance the consumer protection mission of the Colorado public utilities commission, and, in connection therewith, prohibiting a person with recent connections to a regulated utility from serving on the commission, requiring the appointment of an ethics ombudsman, providing for periodic performance audits, and, making an appropriation.
Session:
2017 Regular Session
Subjects:
Business & Economic Development
Energy
State Government

Section 2 of the bill prohibits a person from serving on the public utilities commission if he or she:

  • Has, within the immediately preceding 4 years, served as an officer or director of a regulated utility; or
  • Has or acquires any official relation to, or financial interest in, a regulated utility. 'Financial interest' does not include passive ownership of stocks through a mutual fund or similar vehicle.

Section 3 encourages the director of the commission to assign employees to temporary training and development sessions with other state agencies, particularly those with which the commission has frequent interaction, to improve the employees' substantive expertise and familiarity with the operations of those agencies. Section 3 also requires the director to keep audio records of the commission's proceedings and make them publicly available online.

In addition, section 3 expressly authorizes the executive director of the department of regulatory agencies (of which the commission is a part) to request that the state auditor conduct performance audits of the commission and its staff and operations.

Section 5 directs the commission to adopt rules concerning conflicts of interest, incompatible activities, and ex parte communications to govern the conduct of commission members, staff, and administrative law judges.

Sections 1 and 4 make conforming amendments.

Section 6 appropriates $22,812 to the department of regulatory agencies for legal services.
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)

Status

Introduced
Lost

Bill Text