senate Bill S584

Amended

Expands the scope of management and operations audits of gas and electric corporations conducted by the public service commission

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 09 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO ENERGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO ENERGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS
  • 13 / Jan / 2014
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO ENERGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS
  • 13 / Jan / 2014
    • PRINT NUMBER 584A

Summary

Expands the scope of management and operations audits of gas and electric corporations conducted by the public service commission; requires copies of such audits to be provided to the governor and various legislative leaders.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A667
Versions:
S584
S584A
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Energy And Telecommunications
Law Section:
Public Service Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §66, Pub Serv L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S1980, A2366
2009-2010: A1554, A1554
2007-2008: A8620A, A8620A

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S584

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the public service law, in relation to the management and
operations audits of certain utilities

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
In its January 2007 report, the Assembly Queens power outage Task
Force recommended several measures to improve oversight of utilities
and prevent future blackouts. This bill strengthens the requirements
for management and operations audits of gas and electric
corporations, in order to ensure timely awareness of areas where
improvements in utility operations may be needed.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Bill § 1 amends subdivision 19 of g66 of the Public Service Law to make
the following revisions to the statutorily required process for
management and operations audits of electric and gas corporations:

* the audit schedule - currently at least once every 5 years - could be
accelerated by the Public Service Commission (PSC);

* audits would be expanded to include not only construction program
planning, but also "maintenance operations";

* upon completion, copies of audits must be provided to the Governor
and Legislature; and

* auditors shall independently verify information provided by the
utility.

EFFECTS OF PRESENT LAW WHICH THIS BILL WOULD ALTER:
This bill makes several augmentations to the current statutorily
required audit process, as detailed above.

JUSTIFICATION:
In the Summer of 2006, the western part of Queens suffered a massive
power outage that lasted 9 days. The Assembly Queens Power outage
Task Force studied the outage's causes and the inadequate responses
by the company responsible for the transmission and distribution
system, Consolidated Edison, and by the Public Service Commission.
One underlying cause of this debacle was found to be the reliance by
New York's utility regulators on antiquated laws, regulations and
policies that let companies engaged in energy transmission and
distribution operate without effective oversight.

The Task Force found that the legislatively-required schedule for PSC
audits of the management and operations of certain utilities was not
being met. This bill strengthens the current audit provisions by
including review of a utility's maintenance and security programs and
independent verification of information provided by the company,
allows the PSC to order audits more frequently than every 5 years,
and requires copies of completed audits to be filed with the Governor
and Legislature.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:


2012: Senate Bill
1980 (Gianaris) - Died in Senate Rules Committee
2012: Assembly Bill
2366 (Hevesi) - Died in Assembly Corporations,
Authorities and Commissions Committee
2010: Assembly Bill
1554 (Gianaris) - Died in Assembly
Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee
2008: Assembly Bill
8620-A (Gianaris) - Died in Assembly
Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
The 120th day after becoming law; provided, however, that the Public
Service Commission is authorized to promulgate any rules and
regulations and take any other actions necessary for implementation
in advance of such date.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                   584

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. GIANARIS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on  Energy  and  Telecommuni-
  cations

AN  ACT  to  amend the public service law, in relation to the management
  and operations audits of certain utilities

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1. Subdivision 19 of section 66 of the public service law, as
added by chapter 556 of the laws of 1976 and the  closing  paragraph  as
added by chapter 586 of the laws of 1986, is amended to read as follows:
  19.  The  commission  shall  have  power to provide for management and
operations audits of gas corporations and  electric  corporations.  Such
audits  shall be performed AT SUCH TIMES AS THE COMMISSION SHALL DIRECT,
BUT AN AUDIT SHALL BE PERFORMED at least once every  [five  years]  YEAR
for  combination gas and electric companies, as well as for straight gas
corporations having annual gross  revenues  in  excess  of  two  hundred
million  dollars. WHEN ANY SUCH CORPORATION ALSO OPERATES A STEAM CORPO-
RATION PURSUANT TO ARTICLE FOUR-A OF THIS CHAPTER, THE COMMISSION  SHALL
PROVIDE  FOR  A MANAGEMENT AND OPERATIONS AUDIT OF THE STEAM CORPORATION
IN THE TIME AND MANNER SPECIFIED IN  THIS  SECTION.    The  audit  shall
include,  but  not  be  limited  to,  an  investigation of the company's
construction program, planning [in relation], SECURITY  AND  MAINTENANCE
OPERATIONS  AS  THEY  RELATE  to the needs of its customers for reliable
service and an evaluation of the efficiency of the company's operations.
THE AUDIT SHALL INCLUDE  INDEPENDENT  VERIFICATION  OF  THE  INFORMATION
PROVIDED  BY  THE  COMPANY. The commission shall have discretion to have
such audits performed by its staff, or by independent  auditors.    UPON
COMPLETION,  COPIES  OF  THE  AUDITS  SHALL BE PROVIDED TO THE GOVERNOR,
SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY, THE TEMPORARY  PRESIDENT  OF  THE  SENATE,  THE
CHAIR  OF  THE  SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE, THE CHAIR OF THE ASSEMBLY WAYS

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD01530-01-3

S. 584                              2

AND MEANS COMMITTEE, THE CHAIR OF THE ASSEMBLY ENERGY COMMITTEE AND  THE
CHAIR OF THE SENATE ENERGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE.
  In  every  case  in  which  the  commission  chooses to have the audit
provided for in this subdivision performed by independent  auditors,  it
shall  have authority to select the auditors, and to require the company
being audited to enter into a contract with the auditors  providing  for
their  payment  by the company. Such contract shall provide further that
the auditors shall work for and under the direction  of  the  commission
according  to  such  terms as the commission may determine are necessary
and reasonable.
  The commission shall have authority to direct the company to implement
any recommendations resulting from such  audits  that  it  finds  to  be
necessary and reasonable.
  Upon  the  application  of  a  gas or electric corporation for a major
change in rates as defined in subdivision twelve of this section OR OF A
STEAM CORPORATION FOR A MAJOR CHANGE IN RATES AS DEFINED IN  SUBDIVISION
TEN  OF SECTION EIGHTY OF THIS CHAPTER, the commission shall review that
corporation's compliance with the directions  and  recommendations  made
previously by the commission, as a result of the most recently completed
management  and  operations audit.  The commission shall incorporate the
findings of such review in its opinion or order.
  S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after
it shall have become a law. Provided, that the public service commission
is immediately authorized and directed to  take  any  and  all  actions,
including  but  not  limited to the promulgation of any necessary rules,
necessary to fully implement the provisions of this act on its effective
date.

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