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Program B: Support Services

Program Authorization: R.S. 45:1161; R.S. 45:1177(A, B, & D); R.S. 45:1177.1; R.S. 45:1180 and 45:1181

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The mission of the Support Services Program is:

The goals of the Support Services Program are:

  1. Provide all parties to adjudicatory hearing a fair and impartial hearing.
  2. Ensure that jurisdictional company rates are fair and reasonable to the consumer and at the same time provide a fair rate of return to the company.
  3. Provide the Public Service Commission (PSC) with accurate reporting of regulated utility and common carrier companies' financial condition; level of earnings; rate of return,; adherence to federal, state, local, and PSC laws; regulations and guidelines to assist in decision-making responsibilities.

The Support Services Program includes the following activities (organizational divisions): Administrative Hearings; Audit, Economics and Rate Analysis; and Utilities.

The Administrative Hearings Division was created to assist the PSC in making an examination of the rates charged and services charged by public utilities and common carriers to Louisiana consumers. Administrative law judges manage the progress of and conduct hearing in all matters within the jurisdiction of the commission for which an adjudicatory or evidentiary hearing is requested. These judges have been delegated authority to administer oaths, issue and enforce subpoenas, schedule status conferences and hearings, establish procedural schedules, compel discovery, examine witnesses, make evidentiary rulings, and render rulings on motions, exceptions, and other preliminary matters. They prepare recommendations to the commissioners concerning all final determination and prepare orders.

The Audit Division has a primary responsibility to provide the commission with accurate and current information with respect to the financial condition and the results of operations of regulated utilities.

The Economics and Rate Analysis reviews and analyzes rates of return and rate increase proposals by regulated utilities and makes recommendations to the commission. This division provides analytic capabilities to aid the commission in actively planning and developing policies regarding the regulation/oversight of regulated utilities.

The Utilities Division has responsibility for the maintenance of all rates and conditions of service records filed by regulated utilities. This staff works closely with the Audit Division to examine and audit cost of electric fuel adjustments and natural gas purchases by natural gas companies. It investigates complaints that cannot be resolved at the district level.

OBJECTIVES AND PERFORMANCE INDICATORS

Unless otherwise indicated, all objectives are to be accomplished during or by the end of FY 1999-2000. Performance indicators are made up of two parts: name and value. The indicator name describes what is being measured. The indicator value is the numeric value or level achieved within a given measurement period. For budgeting purposes, performance indicator values are shown for the prior fiscal year, the current fiscal year, and alternative funding scenarios (continuation budget level and Executive Budget recommendation level) for the ensuing fiscal year (the fiscal year of the budget document).

 

RESOURCE ALLOCATION FOR THE PROGRAM

SOURCE OF FUNDING

This program is funded from Statutory Dedications generated from inspection and supervision fees paid by public utilities. Additionally, various fees such as fines, filing fees, I.D. stamps, rehearing applications, registration fees, etc. are collected by the Public Service Commission for administering this program. (Per R.S. 39:32B.(8), see table below for a listing of expenditures out of each Statutory Dedicated Fund.)

ANALYSIS OF RECOMMENDATION

GENERAL FUND

TOTAL

T.O.

DESCRIPTION

 

 

 

 

 

$0

$1,192,475

26

 

ACT 19 FISCAL YEAR 1998-1999

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BA-7 TRANSACTIONS:

$0

$0

0

 

None

 

 

 

 

 

$0

$1,192,475

26

 

EXISTING OPERATING BUDGET November 20, 1998

 

 

 

 

 

$0

$26,861

0

 

Annualization of FY 1998 1999 Classified State Employees Merit Increase

$0

$15,513

0

 

Classified State Employees Merit Increases for FY 1999 2000

$0

$38,860

0

 

Acquisitions and Major Repairs

$0

($18,900)

0

 

Nonrecurring Acquisitions and Major Repairs

$0

$109,556

0

 

Salary Base Adjustment

$0

($23,094)

0

 

Attrition Adjustment

$0

($124,021)

0

Salary Funding from Other Line Items

$0

$8,889

0

 

Other Adjustments Additional funding for Termination Pay for Retiring Employees

$0

$5,500

0

 

Other Adjustments Funding for AXXIS Document Imaging System, Y2K Wiring Requirements

 

 

 

 

 

$0

$1,231,639

26

 

TOTAL RECOMMENDED

 

 

 

 

 

$0

$39,164

0

 

DIFFERENCE (TOTAL RECOMMENDED AND EXISTING OPERATING BUDGET)

The total means of financing for this program is recommended at 103.3% of the existing operating budget. It represents 80.4% of the total request ($1,531,776) for this program. The increase is primarily due to the funding of replacement equipment and the imaging system.

 

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

This program does not have funding for Professional Services for Fiscal Year 1999-2000.

OTHER CHARGES

$5,500

 

AXXIS Document Imaging System

 

 

 

$5,500

 

TOTAL OTHER CHARGES

ACQUISITIONS AND MAJOR REPAIRS

$38,860

 

Replacement computer equipment, office furniture, and library reference materials

 

 

 

$38,860

 

TOTAL ACQUISITIONS AND MAJOR REPAIRS


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