It is in the best interests of the people of Alaska that the Alaska Public Utilities Commission (commission) operate in an efficient and effective manner. Under the Alaska Public Utilities Commission Act (AS 42.05), the Governor designates one member of the commission as chairman of the commission, AS 42.05.020(b). While current statutes set out the general powers and duties of the commission as a regulatory body (see AS 42.05.141 and AS 42.06.140) they do not expressly address the powers and duties of the chairman of the commission. The need for a clear definition of the authority of the chairman of the commission was recognized in the investigative report of Complaint A094-0668 issued by the State of Alaska Ombudsman on February 6, 1995. To ensure public accountability of members of the commission, as well as the efficient and effective internal management of the commission, I find it is necessary to delineate the administrative responsibilities, in addition to any responsibilities expressly set out in 3 AAC 48.010–3 AAC 48.820, that’ are the sole authority of the chairman of the commission.
Therefore, I, Tony Knowles, Governor of the State of Alaska, under the authority of Article III, Secs. 1, 16, 22, and 24, of the Alaska State Constitution order the following:
The chairman of the commission has the authority on behalf of the commission to oversee the administrative operation of the commission, including, to the extent allowed by law, the authority to
- arrange for all meetings of the commission;
- ensure that meeting agendas are prepared and distributed in advance of meetings and that the agendas are adhered to during commission meetings, consistent with commission regulations;
- preside over all meetings of the commission;
- appoint an acting chairman, through the delegation under this paragraph, to serve in the absence of the chairman;
- assign commissioners to serve on panels for formal proceedings of the commission, subject to the right of any commissioner to join a panel to which that commissioner is not assigned;
- establish priorities for the issuance of commission decisions subject to other commission priorities established by the commission at a properly noticed public meeting;
- on behalf of the commission, coordinate requests for legal advice from the attorney general other than requests made under AS 39.52;
- establish a plan for regular office work hours, at the commission’s office, for commissioners, consistent with the office hours of operation established under 3 AAC 48.010(a) and (b);
- approve leave and sign time slips for the other commissioners, the executive director, hearing officers, and, if otherwise authorized, the associate attorney for the commission;
- approve travel and professional training for the other commissioners, the executive director, hearing officers, and, if otherwise authorized, the associate attorney for the commission;
- give work directions to and evaluate work performance of the executive director, hearing officers, and associate attorney for the commission; in evaluating work performance the chairman shall consider appropriate information provided by other commissioners;
- prioritize proposed expenditures of the commission in accordance with the commission’s authorized budget;
- oversee the procurement process of the commission; and
- be principally responsible for communicating commission decisions to other agencies of government, the legislature, the press, and the public; any commissioner is free to communicate that commissioner’s individual views, including those listed in this paragraph.
This order takes effect immediately upon my signature.
DATED at Juneau, Alaska, April 19, 1995
By: S/S Tony Knowles