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Procedure and Timeline for Allowable Ex Parte Briefings

Procedure and Timeline for Allowable Ex Parte Briefings Under SC Code Section 58-3-260

To request a briefing:

A party must send a written request and notice for an Allowable Ex Parte Communication Briefing under S.C. Code Section 58-3-260 to:

Jocelyn Boyd, Esquire

Chief Clerk and Administrator

Public Service Commission of South Carolina

101 Executive Center Drive, Suite 100

Columbia, South Carolina 29210

 

The notice must include:

  1. the person or party requesting the briefing;
  2. the names of Commissioners and Commission employees invited to the briefing;
  3. the subject of the briefing;
  4. the docket number (if applicable); and
  5. the address, phone number, and e-mail address of the requesting party.

A copy of the request and notice must be forwarded to:

Executive Director

Office of Regulatory Staff

1401 Main Street, Suite 900

Columbia, South Carolina 29201

The briefing will be scheduled by the Public Service Commission. The requesting party and the Office of Regulatory Staff will be notified of the date and time of the briefing by the Public Service Commission, and the notice will be posted on the website of the Public Service Commission.

[SEE REQUEST AND NOTICE FORMS #1 and #2]
The Office of Regulatory Staff requests that any materials to be distributed at the briefing be provided to the Office of Regulatory Staff at least 48 hours prior to the meeting.

In addition to any materials provided for its use during the briefing, the presenting party must also provide a proposed summary of the presentation for inclusion in the required post-briefing certification under Section 58-3-260(C)(6)(a)(ii). A transcript of the briefing may be provided in lieu of such summary.

At least 20 days prior to Hearing
(This does not apply if no hearing is scheduled.)

(C)(6)(a)(vi) - If the person or party initially seeking the briefing sufficiently requests the briefing so that sufficient notice can be given pursuant to (v), then the briefing must be held at least 20 days prior to the hearing.

At least 10 days prior to Hearing
(This does not apply if no hearing is scheduled.)

(C)(6)(a)(vii) - If any person or party desiring to have a briefing on the same or similar matter as provided for in (vi) requests a briefing so that sufficient notice can be given pursuant to (v), then this additional briefing must be held at least 10 days prior to the hearing.

At least 5 days prior to the Proposed Briefing
(C)(6)(a)(v) - The Commission posts on its website, at least five business days prior to the proposed briefing, a notice of each request for an allowable ex parte communication briefing that includes:

  • the date and time of the proposed briefing;
  • the name of the person or party who requested the briefing;
  • the name of each Commissioner and Commission employee whom the person or party has requested to brief; and
  • the subject matter to be discussed at the briefing.

No later than 24 hours prior to the Briefing
(C)(6)(b) - Any person or party may object to the attendance of the Executive Director of the ORS at an allowable ex parte communication briefing, no later than twenty-four hours prior to the scheduled briefing, on the grounds of bias or a conflict of interest on the part of the executive director.

  • A written objection must be filed with the Public Service Commission as well as with the Office of Regulatory Staff.

[SEE OBJECTION LETTER FORM #3]

Within 48 hours after the Briefing

(C)(6)(a)(ii) - Each party, person, Commissioner, or Commission employee present must file a written certified statement with the ORS within 48 hours of the briefing:

  • Summarizing the discussions in full AND attaching copies of any written materials utilized, referenced or distributed.

(C)(6)(a)(iii) - Each party, person, Commissioner, or Commission employee present must file a certification with the ORS within 48 hours of the briefing.

  • Stating that no commitment, predetermination, or prediction of any Commissioner's action as to any ultimate or penultimate issue or any Commission employee's opinion or recommendation as to any ultimate or penultimate issue in any proceeding was requested by any person or party nor any commitment, predetermination, or prediction was given by any Commissioner or Commission employee as to any Commission action or Commission employee opinion or recommendation on any ultimate or penultimate issue.

(C)(6)(a)(iv) - EACH COMMISSIONER OR COMMISSION EMPLOYEE present at the briefing must file a certification with the ORS, within 48 hours of the briefing, that he or she will comply with State law requiring the Commission to grant to every other party or person requesting an allowable ex parte communication briefing on the same or similar matter that is or can reasonably be expected to become an issue in a proceeding, similar access and a reasonable opportunity to communicate, directly or indirectly, regarding any fact, law, or other matter that is or can reasonably be expected to become an issue in a proceeding under the provisions of subsection S.C. Code Ann. 58-3-260(C)(6).

[SEE CERTIFIED STATEMENT FORMS #4 and #5]
Within 72 hours after the Briefing

(C)(6)(a)(i) - ORS Executive Director or designee (whichever attends briefing) must file written certification within 72 hours of the briefing, to the Chief Clerk that:

  • the briefing was conducted in compliance with the provisions of this section;

  • that each party, person, Commissioner, or Commission employee present has complied with the reporting and certification requirements; and

  • copies of all statements and all other matters filed by all persons pursuant to(C)(6)(a): (ii), (iii), and (iv).

[SEE CERTIFIED STATEMENT FORM #6]
Between 72 and 96 hours after the Briefing

(C)(6)(a)(i) - the Commission posts on its website the written certification, statements, and other matters filed by the ORS.

Questions relating to scheduling a briefing or notice requirements should be directed to:

Jocelyn Boyd, Esquire

Chief Clerk and Administrator

Public Service Commission of South Carolina

101 Executive Center Drive, Suite 100

Columbia, South Carolina 29210

(803) 896-5133

All other questions relating to allowable ex parte briefings should be directed to:

Jeff Nelson

Chief Counsel

Office of Regulatory Staff

1401 Main Street, Suite 900

Columbia, South Carolina 29201

(803) 737-0823