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Process Improvements to AUC Rate Proceedings, AUC Bulletin 2020-33

Link to Bulletin Summarized

Rule 001 – Rule 022

The AUC announced it would make changes to its process and procedures for rate cases. The Bulletin provides additional information concerning the implementation of changes recommended in the report by the AUC Procedures and Process Review Committee.

The AUC accepted 29 of the 30 report recommendations. It did not accept one recommendation, that a legislated tightening of the AUC’s decision-making timeframes is unnecessary. The AUC noted that legislation could be an effective option to focus the AUC and stakeholders on the AUC commitment to efficiency.

The AUC noted that while some of the recommendations may eventually require inclusion in Rule 001: Rules of Practice, to implement the efficiencies described in the committee’s report, the AUC would adopt some recommendations immediately, as briefly outlined below:

  • Assertive case management;

  • Confidentiality;

  • Hearings (presumption that rate setting hearings be conducted in writing);

  • Cross-examination and Aids to Cross-examination (focus on reduction, limited to areas and issues, aids to cross strictly controlled);

  • Non-expert opinion evidence (non-expert opinion evidence should be discouraged through reduction of costs);

  • Rebuttable presumption – previous rulings;

  • Argument (oral argument to be delivered within three business days of the close of hearing);

  • Assertiveness in hearing room;

  • Decisions (adopt template for decision writing that is issue-driven);

  • Training for decision writing;

  • Member training;

  • Plenary meetings (formal recognition of benefits of plenary meetings to discuss generic issues that arise in proceedings);

  • Interventions (AUC should hold parties to scoped issues, guard against repetitious evidence);

  • Costs (AUC should recognize and apply extensive discretion it possesses to deny or reduce cost claims); and

  • Rules review (review of Rule 001: Rules of Practice).

The recommendations accepted by the AUC will be examined with a view of incorporating them into the AUC Rule 001: Rules of Practice if necessary to effectively reduce regulatory lag and burden.

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