Office of the Executive Director
The Executive Director is responsible for the overall management of the General Staff of the Utilities Division. Staff members
in the Utilities Division have a wide variety of responsibilities which are accomplished through the seven Sections described below.
Electric Utilities Section
The Electric Utilities Section is responsible for
investigating, analyzing, evaluating, and presenting
testimony regarding issues and policies as they relate
to the electric industry. In carrying out its
responsibilities the Electric Utility Section analyzes
the activities, operations, costs, and earnings of the
four investor-owned electric utilities, eighteen rural
distribution electric cooperatives, and one wholesale
electric cooperative under the Commission’s
jurisdiction. This group is also involved in evaluating
the impact of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
initiatives and decisions on Arkansas utilities’
policies, rates, service reliability, and quality of
service and providing information to the Commission
regarding the costs and benefits of implementing such
federal regulatory commission initiatives. In addition,
Staff members are responsible for developing regulations
and guidelines necessary to implement state and federal
legislative mandates and for evaluating and monitoring
the utilities implementation of the regulations and
guidelines. Members of the Section also conduct
compliance audits of utilities with approved automatic
adjustment clauses, perform special project analyses,
conduct general and special issue audits and
investigations, and provide technical evaluations and
responses to address inquiries from the public.
Telecommunications Utilities and Quality of Service Section
The Telecommunications and Quality of Service Section is responsible for certification, rate, financial, accounting, technical,
and quality of service matters specific to the telecommunications industry and is responsible for power line construction
certification, technical, and quality of service matters specific to the electric industry.
Staff members interact with both investor-owned and cooperative electric utilities, local exchange carriers, interexchange
carriers, pay telephone service providers and the public. That interaction is necessary to be responsive to changes in the
industries, introduction of new services, effects of federal regulatory actions and questions and service problems of the public.
This Section conducts an ongoing evaluation of the quality of service provided by both electric utilities and local exchange
carriers in Arkansas. That evaluation measures the utilities’ performance against the Commission’s General Service Rules and
Special Rules - Electric and the carriers’ performance against the Commission’s Telecommunications Providers Rules and is
administrated to ensure that each utility and carrier is evaluated at least once every two years.
Natural Gas and Water Utilities Section
The Natural Gas and Water Utilities Section primarily focuses on
financial and rate matters concerning natural gas, water and sewer utilities. They must understand and evaluate the complex rate
structures and the earnings requirements of the three natural gas utilities, four water utilities, and
one sewer utilities currently
under the Commission’s jurisdiction. They also conduct compliance audits for utilities with approved automatic adjustment clauses.
Pipeline Safety Office Section
The Pipeline Safety Office ensures that natural gas
operators are in compliance with the Arkansas Gas
Pipeline Code. Compliance is determined through periodic
inspections of safety, corrosion, and leakage control
which are performed on 30
intra-state natural gas operators and 181 operators covering 331 master-metered gas systems.
Cost Allocation and Rate Design Section
This Section performs various economic analyses, evaluates billing determinants, cost allocation and rate design issues,
participates in all rate case proceedings, conducts focused investigations, and develops Staff's position on various regulatory
issues, including conservation programs. Staff personnel specialize in utility industries as well as economic, financial, and
accounting matters. Each member of the Section presents recommendations to the Commission though pre-filed
and oral expert testimony, and cross-examinations during public hearings.
Financial Analysis Section
The Financial Analysis Section performs various financial and economic analyses, evaluates depreciation rates and capital recovery
issues, assesses the required rate of return and other financing issues for jurisdictional utilities, participates in all rate case
proceedings and reviews of earnings levels, conducts focused investigations, and develops Staff’s position on various regulatory issues,
including nuclear decommissioning, mergers, stranded costs, transition costs and other electric restructuring issues. Staff personnel
specialize in utility industries as well as economic, financial, and accounting matters. Each member of the Section presents recommendations
to the Commission through pre-filed and oral expert testimony, and cross-examinations during public hearings.
The Audits Section participates in all rate case proceedings. Section staff members conduct extensive reviews, audits, and
analyses of rate case applications; conduct ongoing reviews of the earnings levels of public utilities; evaluate transactions
between regulated utility companies and their affiliates; and conduct compliance audits.
Attorneys on the General Staff perform a dual function at the Commission. They represent the Staff in proceedings before the
Commission and represent the Commission in matters and proceedings outside the Commission, such as appellate cases and appearances
before federal regulatory commissions. Additionally, Legal Section attorneys act as Commission hearing officers in certain
Consumer Services Section
The Consumer Services Section works with customers to answer questions and resolve complaints about the rates and services of
regulated utilities. Staff members review all complaints for compliance with APSC rules and approved utility tariffs and act as
liaisons with utilities in resolving those complaints. This Section also provides educational brochures and materials and makes
group presentations as needed.
Another responsibility of the Consumer Services Section is customer service audits of jurisdictional utility companies. The audits
consist of a thorough review of utility policies and procedures. The objective is the identification of opportunities for
improvements, and recommendations are often made to ensure compliance with Commission Rules.
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Revised: Tuesday, May 21, 2013