Records Appraisal Report:
Task Force on Public Utility Regulation

Contents of this report
Agency Contact | Agency History | Project Review | Record Series Review

Internal link to series review
Special Legislative Projects - Public Utility Commission


February 19, 1997, Paul Beck, Appraisal Archivist


Agency Contact:

This agency contact information was current at the time of the report but may have changed in the interim. Please call (512-463-5455) for current contact information of the agency's records manager or records liaison for these records.

Dawn Brinkman
Sunset Advisory Commission
Capitol Building Extension, Room E2.002
1400 N. Congress
Austin, TX 78701


Agency History and Structure

The Task Force on Public Utility Regulation was established by Executive Order WPC-89-6 of Governor Clements on July 25, 1989. The stated purpose of the Task Force was to "...study and evaluate the manner in which public utilities are regulated in the State of Texas and the structure and function of the entities created under the Public Regulatory Act...". The executive order gave several reasons for the creation of the Task Force citing recent controversies surrounding public utility regulation, the increasing complexity of the field, and a management audit of the Public Utility Commission (PUC) which suggested various organizational changes to the agency, including expansion of the commission beyond its current three-member commission. The Task Force was to consist of nine members: three members of the Texas Senate appointed by the Lieutenant Governor, three members of the Texas House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and three public members appointed by the governor.

The Task Force was formed on September 8, 1989 and adopted the following statement: "The purpose of the task force is to examine the institutional issues related to the jurisdiction, structure, organization, and procedures of the PUC, its staff, and the Office of the Public Utility Counsel. This purpose does not include an examination of rate-making process and criteria." The Task Force held a series of public hearings to receive comments from those interested in public utility regulation. The Task Force issued a final report with recommendations to the governor and legislature in November 1989. These recommendations relate to: PUC's jurisdiction; the structure of the commission and agency; the operation of the agency; the responsibilities of the Office of Public Utility Counsel and the general counsel of the PUC; staffing and funding for the PUC and OPUC; and other general issues.

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Project Review

These records were discussed during the appraisal review of the Sunset Advisory Commission. It was determined that these are actually records of the Task Force of the Public Utility Task Force. They are listed on the Commission's retention schedule as "Special Legislative Projects - Public Utility Commission" and are retained in the Commission's offices.

Archives Holdings

Task Force on Public Utility Regulation - Final Report to the Governor and Legislature, 1989, fractional.

Previous Destructions

No destruction requests have been filed by the Task Force on Public Utility Regulation.

Project outcome

The appraisal for the records of the Task Force on Public Utility Regulation is complete. This series has been appraised as non-archival. The series should be deleted from the retention schedule of the Sunset Advisory Commission. The records have reached the end of their retention period and disposition of the records may be made upon consultation with the agency's records consultant at the State and Local Records Management Division of the Texas State Library.

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Record Series Review

Series Title: Special Legislative Projects - Public Utility Commission

Dates: 1989

Agency: Sunset Advisory Commission

Obsolete record series? Yes

Ongoing record series? No

Annual accumulation:

Agency Holdings:

Records are in the offices of the agency and are to be retained for four years. All records were created in 1989 and total volume is 3 cubic feet.

Archival Holdings:

Task Force on Public Utility Regulation - Final Report to the Governor and Legislature, 1989, fractional.

Description:

Records consist of transcripts of public testimony taken at a series of hearings held by the Task Force on Public Utility Regulation and the final report by the Task Force. All records are from 1989. Witnesses included residential and small business advocates, municipalities, industrial and commercial consumers, electric utilities, municipal public power entities, telecommunication cooperatives, the Office of Public Utility Counsel, current and former Public Utility Commission commissioners, and former PUC staff. Major topics discussed included: size and structure of the Public Utility Commission (PUC), selection of PUC commissioners, conduct of PUC proceedings, operation of the PUC, original jurisdiction of cities in rate cases, regulation of electric cooperatives and telecommunication companies, reimbursement of rate case costs, and determination of "public interest."

Purpose:

The Task Force on Public Utility Regulation was established by Executive Order WPC-89-6 of Governor Clements on July 25, 1989. The records in this series document the work of the Task Force on Public Utility Regulation and of the Sunset Advisory Commission in its support for the Task Force. The executive order gave several reasons for the creation of the Task Force citing recent controversies surrounding public utility regulation, the increasing complexity of the field, and a management audit of the Public Utility Commission (PUC) which suggested various organizational changes to the agency, including expansion of the commission beyond its current three-member commission.

Agency program:

The Sunset Advisory Commission provided clerical support to the Task Force on Public Utility Regulation. This staff support was outside the normal duties of the Commission as defined by its statutory authorization, V.T.C.A. Government Code, Chapter 325. A series of public hearings were held by the Task Force, with assistance from Sunset Commission staff, to receive comments from interests concerned with public utility regulation. The transcripts of these hearings were filed with the staff of the Sunset Commission. After the Task Force issued its final report in 1989 these records remained at the Sunset Commission offices.

Arrangement: Chronological

Access Constraints: None

Use Constraints: None

Indexes or finding aids required for/or an aid to access? No

Gaps? None

Problems: None

Known related records in other agencies: None

Previous destructions:

Destruction requests on file in the Archives and Information Services Division of the Library and Archives Commission were checked for the Sunset Advisory Commission and none were found for this series or for equivalent or related series.

Publications based on records:

Task Force on Public Utility Regulation, Final Report to the Governor and Legislature, November 1989.

Scheduled record series? yes

  • Title: Special Legislative Projects - Public Utility Commission
  • Series item number: 1.1
  • Agency item number: 3
  • Archival code: R
  • Retention: 4

Appraisal Decision:

The records in this series were not created by the Sunset Advisory Commission but by the Task Force on Public Utility Regulation. These are original records from the Task Force, which was dissolved after it issued its final report. The records ended up in the possession of the Sunset Commission and on their retention schedule. Records are transcripts of testimony from public hearings held by the Task Force. A related record is the Task Force's final report to the Governor and Legislature, a copy of which has been transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division. In the final report the testimony from the public hearings has been arranged into eighty specific issues, with lists of corresponding witnesses and their comments. Thus, the final report provides a detailed summary of the testimony and is sufficient in providing an accurate, historical record of the public hearings. This final report is included in a Sunset Advisory Commission series, Special Legislative Projects-Final Report, which is recommended for archival retention. The transcripts of the hearings, then, do not need to be retained.

With no need for the transcripts, and a copy of the Final Report already in the Archives, these records are not considered to be archival. Indeed, this is an obsolete series where the records remaining at the commission have reached the end of their retention period. The entire series should be deleted from the Sunset Advisory Commission's retention schedule.

Page last modified: August 31, 2011