Missouri utility regulators want to loosen up ethics rules they call “cumbersome” by easing requirements to disclose meetings with utilities when they don’t directly relate to rate cases and other contested issues.
The guidelines, known as “ex parte rules,” prohibit Missouri Public Service Commissioners and the PSC staff from meeting with utilities to discuss matters in pending cases or cases utilities have given notice will be filed.
The commission issued a release Wednesday announcing that its five commissioners all voted to open a working case to determine whether the guidelines should be amended and to solicit input on changing the rules.
The proposal follows a flurry of meetings between commissioners, utility executives and legislators during the legislative session, when the state’s largest electric utilities were pushing for a major overhaul of PSC powers.
As part of its review, the commission will be seeking input, in the next 30 days, from utility companies, consumer and business organizations, and other individuals and entities affected by the rule.