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Commission Organization

The Commission staff consists of approximately 50 permanent full-time staff members organized into the following units:

Please visit the Staff Directory page for individual emails and phone numbers.

Business and IT Services

The Business and IT Services Unit provides human resource administrative support in the areas of recruitment, selection, personnel transaction processing, job classification, compensation administration, benefits information and processing, labor relations, diversity, health/safety promotion and facilities management. In addition the unit provides general accounting, procurement and budget/fiscal support services as well as administrative assistance to the five Commissioners and the Executive Secretary.

Commissioners

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission consists of five commissioners appointed by the governor to six-year, staggered terms. By law, no more than three commissioners can be of the same political party and at least one commissioner must reside at the time of appointment outside the seven-county metropolitan area. The governor designates one of the commissioners to serve as chair. The commissioners and staff work full time at the Commission's office in Saint Paul, except when attending hearings in other parts of the state.

Commission Counsel

Commission Counsel provide legal advise to the Commission and represent the Commission in matters before the Courts. Commission Counsel are administratively part of the staff of the Minnesota Office of the Attorney General.

Consumer Affairs Office

The Consumer Affairs Office (CAO) serves as the Commission's information, consumer education and dispute resolution hub. Consumer Affairs staff provide mediation assistance to consumers filing complaints against utilities under the Commission's jurisdiction. CAO is also responsible for all mail services, hearing tapes, hearing room access and hearing traffic control. The CAO administers the Cold and Hot Weather laws governing natural gas and electric service terminations, the Link-up America telephone discount programs and serves as key public contact office for the Commission.

Energy Facilities Permitting

The Energy Facilities Permitting Unit is responsible for the need, site and route permitting of certain energy facilities, including power plant and wind tubine siting, transmission line and pipeline routing. The Facilities Unit also has responsibilities for certain electric transmission planning activities.

Executive Secretary

The Executive Secretary is chief of staff and operations for the agency.

The Information Technology Unit is responsible for maintaining the agency's information resources as well as planning and developing the agency's proficiency in the use of technologies.

Legal

The Legal Unit provides legal perspective to assist the Commissioners in their decision-making process. The unit drafts the Commission's decisions and orders, leads and coordinates the Commission's rulemakings, and documents the Commission's actions through the minutes process.

Regulatory Analysis

The Energy Economic Analysis and Financial Analysis Units reviews all natural gas and electric matters coming before the Commission. Cases investigated by the Unit fall into several broad categories including rate changes, energy resource planning and certification, service area matters, mergers and acquisitions, and formal complaints. The Energy Units has have also been actively engaged in monitoring the structural changes occurring in these industries. For information about a specific case, please contact the Commission staff listed on the Commission briefing papers for that case.

The Telecommunications Unit reviews matters relating to rates and services of telephone companies. In addition to the more traditional types of cases under regulation, the Unit also assists the Commission in addressing significant policy issues regarding the ongoing evolution of competition in the telecommunications industry.