Notice: MSA Investigation Procedures (Revised)

October 5, 2006

 

NOTICE

To: Market Participants

Re: MSA Investigation Procedures (Revised)

On September 19, 2006 the Chair of the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board issued a decision (the “decision”) pursuant to s. 73 of the Electric Utilities Act (the “Act”).  The Chair directed the MSA to post the decision on its website and the MSA has done so under a separate notice issued October 5, 2006.

In accordance with certain other directions given by the Chair in the decision, the MSA has amended the MSA Investigation Process and Assessment Guidelines, originally published on January 26, 2004.  The amendments serve to clarify aspects of the existing procedures used by the MSA in relation to matters brought to the MSA for investigation pursuant to its mandate under the Act.  As such, the amendments are seen as descriptive more than incremental.  The specific amendments are summarized below.

First, consistent with other changes to the lexicon (naming convention) used by the MSA, and as contemplated by recent MSA communications regarding its lexicon, the overall set of procedures has been renamed as the MSA Investigation Procedures.  The reasoning behind this change of name is that the procedures used by the MSA for its investigations are not, and were not, functionally issued as a “guideline” pursuant to s. 49(4) of the Act.  In the new lexicon, the MSA Investigation Procedures properly fall with the “Process” category.  As communicated in recent stakeholder meetings, the MSA anticipates that the new lexicon, and related MSA website modifications, will be rolled out in detail and implemented later in 2006.

Secondly, the following amendments serve to specifically respond to the directions set out in the decision and to otherwise clarify the investigation procedures:

• Within Section 2, page 3, the MSA has added, “If revisions to the procedures are necessary, the MSA will advise the involved parties of the revisions and provide reasons.”

• Section 2.2.2 had a number of modifications to further explain the role of the preliminary assessment, including as to the opportunity for the complainant to communicate its position and provide pertinent information.  Additionally, the complainant will also be notified of the results of the preliminary assessment and reasons for the MSA’s decision.  The original information from this section has been moved to section 2.3, which is entitled “Investigation”.

• Section 2.2.3 Confidentiality and Publication has been added.  Under this section it is expressed that all records obtained from any party will be kept confidential and that no part of the preliminary assessment report will be made public, except as contemplated by the investigation procedures, the Act or regulations made under the Act.  In addition, broader based MSA views, guidelines or other such matters will be dealt with and reported upon separately from preliminary assessments, although confidential information obtained in the course of a preliminary assessment may be used for those other matters.

• Section 2.4, sub-paragraph 8) has been added, and speaks to the steps which will be taken to make the complainant and the market participant(s) under investigation informed of the findings of the MSA, and provide a reasonable opportunity to respond to those findings, before the investigation is finalized.

In addition, various minor edits were made, along with the re-ordering of certain paragraphs.

The new MSA Investigation Procedures are attached through the following link:

MSA Investigation Procedures (Revised)

The attached document is provided to market participants for information and for future reference. Given the nature of the amendments made (i.e. that the amendments relate to lexicon refinements and to specific directives from the decision, and that the amendments are providing clarity to the pre-existing procedures), the MSA will not invoke any formal stakeholder engagement around these matters.

We trust that this will be of assistance, and encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments.

Yours truly,

“Original signed”

W.W. (Wayne) Silk
Vice-President, Chief Operating Officer
Market Surveillance Administrator