Usa Alaska

USA Statutes : alaska
Title : Public Utilities and Carriers
Chapter : Chapter 04. Regulatory Commission of Alaska

Repealed or Renumbered


(a) The Department of Law shall provide full-time legal counsel to the commission.

(b) The commission may, subject to the approval of the attorney general, contract for the services of specialized legal counsel or legal consultants.

(a) The commission shall establish a principal office and branch offices necessary to discharge its business efficiently. For the convenience of the public or of parties to a proceeding, the commission may hold meetings, hearings, or other proceedings at other locations.

(b) The commission shall have an official seal.

Repealed or Renumbered

There is established within the commission a communications carriers section that shall develop, recommend, and administer policies and programs with respect to the regulation of rates, services, accounting, and facilities of communications common carriers within the state involving the use of wire, cable, radio, and space satellites.

(a) There is created within the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development as an independent agency of the state the Regulatory Commission of Alaska.

(b) The commission shall annually elect one of its members to serve as chair for the following fiscal year. When a vacancy occurs in the office of chair, the commission shall elect one of its members to serve the remaining term as chair. The term as chair is one year. The chair may be elected to not more than three successive terms as chair. After a year of not serving as chair, the commissioner is eligible for election as chair again.

(a) The chair of the commission shall

(1) employ the commission staff;

(2) establish and implement a time management system for the commission;

(3) assign the work of the commission to members and staff of the commission so that matters before the commission are resolved as expeditiously and competently as possible; when assigning a matter, the chair shall also set a date by which time the matter should be completed.

(b) The chair of the commission may appoint a hearing examiner or an administrative law judge to hear a matter that has come before the commission; a member of the commission may serve as hearing examiner or, if qualified, as an administrative law judge.

(c) The chair of the commission shall request the attorney general to participate as a party in a matter when the commission believes that it is in the public interest for the attorney general to do so.

(a) Except as provided in AS 42.05.171 or AS 42.06.140 , when a matter comes for decision before the commission under AS 42.05 or AS 42.06, the chair shall appoint a hearing panel composed of three or more members to hear, or if a hearing is not required, to otherwise consider, and decide the case. The panel shall exercise the powers of the commission with respect to the matter.

(b) The commission shall adopt regulations by December 31, 1999, that establish standards of timeliness for the types of cases that come before the commission. The commission shall establish standards based in part on degrees of complexity of the cases.

(a) The chair of the commission is responsible for directing the administrative functions of the commission and carrying out the policies as set by the commission. The commission chair may employ engineers, hearing examiners, administrative law judges, arbitrators, mediators, experts, clerks, accountants, and other agents and assistants considered necessary. Employees of the commission who are not in the exempt service under AS 39.25.110 or the partially exempt service under AS 39.25.120 are in the classified service under AS 39.25.100.

(b) The chair of the commission may enter into a contract for no more than $5,000 to engage the services of a consultant or expert the chair considers necessary. The commission may contract for and engage the services of consultants and experts the commission considers necessary.

(c) At the request of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and to the extent workload permits, the Regulatory Commission of Alaska shall make available to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission the services of a hearing examiner.

(a) A member of the commission or an employee of the commission may not have an official connection with, hold stock or securities in, or have a pecuniary interest in a public utility or pipeline carrier within the state. Membership in a cooperative association is not a 'pecuniary interest' within the meaning of this section; however, a member or employee of the commission may not be an officer, board member, or employee of a cooperative association. A member or employee may not act upon a matter in which a relationship of the member or employee with any person creates a conflict of interest.

(b) A member or employee of the commission may not, after leaving the position as a member or employee of the commission, act as agent for or on behalf of a public utility in any matter before the commission that was before the commission during the employee's employment or the member's term of office. A violation of this subsection is a class A misdemeanor.

(c) Members and employees of the commission, except clerical and secretarial staff, are subject to AS 39.50. Members and employees of the commission are subject to AS 39.52.

(d) A member of the commission is disqualified from voting upon any matter before the commission in which the member has a conflict of interest.

(a) The commission consists of five commissioners appointed by the governor and confirmed by the legislature in joint session. To qualify for appointment as a commissioner, a person must be a member in good standing of the Alaska Bar Association or have a degree from an accredited college or university with a major in engineering, finance, economics, accounting, business administration, or public administration. Actual experience for a period of five years in the practice of law or in the field of engineering, finance, economics, accounting, business administration, or public administration is equivalent to a degree.

(b) The term of office of each member is six years. A commissioner, upon the expiration of a term, shall continue to hold office until a successor is appointed and qualified.

(c) A vacancy arising in the office of a commissioner shall be filled by appointment by the governor and confirmed by the legislature in joint session, and, except as provided in AS 39.05.080 (4), an appointee selected to fill a vacancy shall hold office for the balance of the full term for which the predecessor on the commission was appointed.

(d) A vacancy in the commission does not impair the authority of a quorum of commissioners to exercise all the powers and perform all the duties of the commission.

(e) The governor may remove a commissioner from office for cause, including incompetence, neglect of duty, inability to serve, or misconduct in office or because the member, while serving on the commission, is convicted of a misdemeanor for violating a statute or regulation related to public utilities or is convicted of a felony. A commissioner, to be removed for cause, shall be given a copy of the charges and afforded an opportunity to be publicly heard in person or by counsel in the commissioner's own defense upon not less than 10 days' notice. If a commissioner is removed for cause, the governor shall file with the lieutenant governor a complete statement of all charges made against the commissioner and the governor's finding based on the charges, together with a complete record of the proceedings.

(f) Members of the commission are in the exempt service and are entitled to a monthly salary equal to Step C, Range 26, of the salary schedule in AS 39.27.011 (a) for Juneau, Alaska. The chair of the commission is entitled to a monthly salary equal to Step C, Range 27, of the salary schedule in AS 39.27.011 (a) for Juneau, Alaska.

(g) Each commissioner, before entering upon the duties of office, shall take and subscribe to the oath prescribed for principal officers of the state.