In Support of Developing a Database Concerning Providers of Utility Services and Coordination Among the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and Other Agencies

WHEREAS, the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates (NASUCA) is a national association of public advocate offices whose members are designated by laws of their respective states to represent the interests of utility consumers before state and federal regulators and in the courts; and

WHEREAS, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) is a national association composed of governmental agencies of the fifty States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands engaged in the regulation of utilities and carriers; and

WHEREAS, the introduction of competition into the electricity, gas, and local telecommunications markets has created a greater need for vigilance by advocates and commissions, as consumers are more likely to be subject to unfair, deceptive, unconscionable, fraudulent, or anti-competitive practices in a competitive marketplace; and

WHEREAS, NARUC and NASUCA members are experiencing increasing instances of slamming, cramming and other consumer scams in which the same perpetrators are operating in multiple states and nationwide; and

WHEREAS, the availability of a common, comprehensive, and readily available source of information about companies that have been the subject of complaints, proceedings, judgments and settlements for consumer protection violations in one or more states will assist both advocates and commissions in performing their roles; and

WHEREAS, the Consumer Protection Committee of NASUCA has engaged in planning such a database; and

WHEREAS, NASUCA has begun testing such a database, including having designed a test website, developed a set of data elements to be tracked and begun inputting data, including the following:

Company information (e.g., name, address, affiliates, etc.)
Type of service (telecommunications, gas, electric, etc.)
Type of activity (e.g., cramming, quality of service, etc.)
Public case information (date docketed, agency & docket number)
Last update date
Contact at agency
Other pertinent information
WHEREAS, such a database could greatly benefit from the resources of the large number of state commissions which are active within NARUC’s membership; and
WHEREAS, by collaborating on the development and maintenance of such a database, the available resources — both human and information — will be increased thereby enhancing the value of the product; and

WHEREAS, NASUCA recognizes that there are various operational issues which will need to be determined in the future;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates (NASUCA) commits to continuing the work of the Consumer Protection Committee by updating the database with relevant information; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NASUCA agrees to cooperate with NARUC and other federal, state and private agencies as appropriate opportunities may arise in the development and maintenance of a common, nationwide database; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that an informal joint working group be hereby established, consisting of representatives from NASUCA and NARUC and other federal, state and private agencies as appropriate opportunities may arise. The mission of the working group would be to establish suggested guidelines for future resolutions on how the organizations can coordinate their activities and share information to maintain the aforementioned database; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NASUCA authorizes its Executive Committee to develop specific positions and to take appropriate actions consistent with the terms of this resolution. The Executive Committee shall advise the membership of any proposed action prior to taking action if possible. In any event, the Executive Committee shall notify the membership of any action taken pursuant to this resolution.

Approved by NASUCA:

November, 1999, San Antonio, Texas

Submitted by:

NASUCA Consumer Protection Committee

Robert S. Tongren, OH, Chairman
Ami Morita, NJ
Blossom Peretz, NJ
Brady Cantrell , KS
David Goldwater, IN
David Morse, CA
Dawn Tarkington Redmond, OH
Deena Frankel, VT
Gerald Norlander, PULP NY
Gordian Raacke, CAP NY
Herbert Jones, D.C.
Jim Hurt, GA
John Grugan, MA
Keith Beall, IN
Letitia Wiggins McKoy, D.C.
Marilyn Skibinski, NV
Matt Steuerwalt, WA
Michael J. Travieso, MD
Michael Shames, UCAN, CA
Mike Dandino, MO
Patricia A. Stowell, DE
Paula Carmody, MD
Phyllis Kimmel, D.C.
Richard Guzman, TX
Susan Henry, PA
Tony Sade, WV