Review and Variance- Efficiency
The AUC has amended Rule 016: Review of Commission Decisions as part of its continuous effort to implement process efficiencies identified in the Report of the AUC Procedures and Processes Review Committee. Rule 016 sets out the process applied when the AUC exercises its discretionary authority to review its own decisions, on its initiative or at the request of a party. The AUC amended Rule 016 to clarify the circumstances in which a review will be considered and enhance the review process’s efficiency.
Rule 016 was amended to:
Remove from the scope of the AUC review errors of law or jurisdiction;
Change the filing deadline for review and variance applications to 30 days after the original decision is issued; and
Introduce page limits for applications and reply submissions.
The AUC acknowledged the concern raised by stakeholders that removing errors of law or jurisdiction from the scope could make way for complexities. The AUC clarified that the proposed revisions are designed to minimize overlap with Court of Appeal of Alberta proceedings based on the nature of the question under review or appeal. The AUC recognized that questions might have to be assessed on a case-by-case basis to determine the nature of the alleged error. The AUC determined that undertaking such an assessment at the start of a proceeding will promote efficiency in the review process for all parties.
Regarding the other amendments, the AUC received comments that the proposed page limits may not be enough in some cases to allow a full explanation of a position. The complexity of a position taken by a party and the nature of the decision under review may, in individual cases, not be shortened to the proposed page limit. In response to the comments, the AUC increased the page limits initially proposed. Parties can seek approval from the AUC to expand these page limits further. Further minor changes were made to the wording to improve clarity and remove information requirements that were already satisfied by parties’ use of the eFiling System.