January 28, 2005

GAO to Issue SEC Report Card on PUCHA

Yesterday, Rep. John D. Dingell, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, released a “commitment letter” from the GAO agreeing to perform a study and submit a report by June 17, 2005 on the SEC’s administration and enforcement of PUCHA. The work was requested by Reps. Dingell and Edward J. Markey in letters dated April 21, 2004 and August 18, 2004, partly in response to Enron’s collapse. In particular, the SEC’s December 2003 opinion denying Enron’s application for an exemption (two years after Enron filed for bankruptcy) appears to have troubled the Congressmen.

The GAO study will assess:

(1) the extent to which the SEC’s Office of Public Utility Regulation (OPUR) reviews registered holding companies and the results of the reviews;
(2) the extent to which OPUR reviews claims of exemption–filed as either self-certifications or applications for SEC order and the results of the reviews;
(3) OPUR’s process for issuing no-action letters; and
(4) how OPUR determines whether companies have a controlling influence in public utilities or public utility holding companies.

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Posted by Julie Hoffman