John B. Rhodes, Chair
Thomas Congdon, Executive Deputy
Bipartisan by law since 1970, the Commission consists of up to five members, each appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the State Senate for a term of six years or to complete an unexpired term of a former Commissioner. The Chair is designated by the Governor. The Commission is assisted by the Department of Public Service. The Commission Chair is the chief executive officer of the Department.
The primary mission of the New York State Department of Public Service is to ensure affordable, safe, secure, and reliable access to electric, gas, steam, telecommunications, and water services for New York State’s residential and business consumers, while protecting the natural environment. The Department also seeks to stimulate effective competitive markets that benefit New York consumers through strategic investments, as well as product and service innovations.
Policy and Legal Affairs
Peter McGowan, Chief Policy Advisor
Serves as special counsel and senior policy advisor to the Department and the Commission on matters related to utility regulation, works with advisory staff regarding the Department’s strategic planning, and also advises and make recommendations to the Commission on policy, regulatory, and legal matters. In addition, the Chief Policy Advisor has direct oversight of the Office of Telecommunications.
Secretary to the Commission
Kathleen H. Burgess, Secretary to the Commission, Ethics Officer
The Secretary provides support to the Commission and is responsible for maintaining the records of the proceedings within the Department of Public Service. The Secretary provides for the coordination of the components of Commission proceedings that include, among others, issuing Notices in order to ensure that all interested persons have a fair opportunity to be heard. The Secretary also ensures utility and staff compliance with Commission orders. The Secretary serves as a secretariat for the New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment.
The Department Ethics Officer provides guidance to Commissioners and Department Staff concerning ethical responsibilities as Department employees and as employees of New York State, as set forth in the Public Service Law, Public Officers Law, and other relevant statutes, regulations and policies. The Department Ethics Officer is available to consider inquiries from the public and regulated entities concerning the ethical responsibilities of the Department, Commissioners and Department employees.
James Denn, Director
Public Affairs serves as an advocate for the Commission's and Department's utility regulatory policies, programs and initiatives. It conducts an integrated internal and external communications program. The office strives to establish a framework to foster communication with the public and other constituencies through coordination of several different agency activities. Further, it ensures that such efforts accurately represent the Commission's decisions and the Department's advocacy on behalf of consumers.
Long Island Office
Guy Mazza, Director
The Long Island Office oversees the Department's operations on Long Island. The Long Island office is charged with examining the core utility operations of PSEG Long Island, and advising the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) with its role in overseeing the activities of PSEG Long Island.
Office of Administration
Sorelle Brauth, Director
The Office of Administration is comprised of three sections which provide administrative support to and operational management of the Department.
The Human Resources Management section oversees all programs and policies relating to employment of Department personnel. Responsibilities include staff development and performance, employee relations, classification and compensation, and affirmative action.
The Administrative Management section provides organizational and administrative services to support internal management and Commission operations. This includes implementation of administrative policies; records, contract, and telecommunications management; and space planning, printing, mail, and other office services.
The Finance and Budget section oversees and ensures compliance with all Department fiscal policies and procedures. Key activities include developing and monitoring budget and spending plans; administering payroll, employee travel, contractor and vendor payments; revenue collections; and coordinating the Department's Internal Control Program in concert with the Internal Control Officer.
The Office of Administration also works closely with the New York State Office of Information Technology Services (OITS) to develop and support the Department's hardware and software network. Key functions include systems security, planning, development and maintenance; user training and technological support; Geographic Information Systems (GIS) services; and application development and maintenance.
LuAnn Scherer, Director
The Office of Consumer Services represents the voice of the consumer for all activities overseen by the Commission. This position ensures that regulated energy, telecommunications and water utilities, as well as third-party energy providers, comply with relevant regulations and adhere to best practices in regards to the services provided to mass market consumers, with a particular focus on low income and special needs consumers. The Office of Consumer Services takes and resolves consumer complaints and utilizes consumer input to develop consumer policy. The Advocate, through its external channels and established Consumer Advisory Council, represents all relevant consumer interests at the Commission.
The Office of Consumer Services develops and implements policies and tools to facilitate consumer engagement in energy usage and purchase decisions. It also is responsible for retail access and ESCO matters with the exception of compliance, including policy issues and market development.
Markets & Innovation
Colleen Gerwitz, Acting Director
Colleen Gerwitz, Director
Clean Energy is responsible for all clean energy initiatives including energy efficiency, Renewables, NYSUN, NYSERDA coordination, NY Green Bank, Environmental Disclosure and Community Choice Aggregation.
Market and Regulatory Economics
Warren Myers, Director
Market and Regulatory Economics is responsible for market analytics and oversight, including market and auction design, and market competitive analysis. It is also responsible for regulatory issues such as econometric forecasting, rate design, and incentive and economic efficiency analysis. Input is provided on all types of cost-benefit analysis, including utility procurements and investments, Energy Efficiency and distributed resource valuation, and transmission and generator siting cases.
Enterprise Risk Management
David Bell, Director
The Office of Enterprise Risk Management is responsible for identifying particular events or circumstances (risk and opportunities) relevant to the Department’s objectives, assessing them in terms of likelihood and magnitude of impact, determining a response strategy, and monitoring progress. By identifying and proactively addressing risks and opportunities, the Department is better positioned to protect and create value for its stakeholders. Internal auditing plays an important role in Enterprise Risk Management as it brings a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluating and improving the effectiveness of the Department's risk management, control, and governance processes.
Office of General Counsel
Paul Agresta, General Counsel
The Office of General Counsel provides legal representation and advice to the Department of Public Service, the Public Service Commission and the New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment. The Office of General Counsel also represents and appears on behalf of the people of the state in all actions or proceedings involving any question related to the Public Service Law or within the jurisdiction of the Commission in court and before federal agencies, and prepares proposed regulations and legislation.
Office of Hearings
Elizabeth H. Liebschutz, Chief Administrative Law Judge
The Office of Hearings consists of support staff and Administrative Law Judges, who are assigned to all proceedings in which hearings are held and to other cases where the assistance of a judge would be beneficial. Judges oversee development of the official case record, analyze arguments and evidence offered by parties, offer advice and recommendations about how issues should be resolved by the Commission or N.Y.S. Siting Board, and draft Commission and Siting Board decisions. Judges may also be separately assigned to serve as mediators to assist parties in settlement negotiations.
Office of Telecommunications
Debra LaBelle, Director
The Office of Telecommunications is responsible for overseeing the performance of the telecommunication and cable television companies under Commission jurisdiction. The Office is divided into three sections as follows:
Carrier Operations section assures that the prices, terms, and conditions of services to consumers are reasonable and adhere to Commission policies. The section is responsible for issues that arise between competing telephone companies (e.g., the review and arbitration of interconnection agreements) and matters involving multiple carriers including telephone numbering;
Municipal Assistance group, within the Carrier Operations section, provides assistance to cities, towns and villages -- as well as cable television operators -- on cable television issues. This includes assistance with cable franchises, the approval of franchises, and franchise transfers, Public, Educational and Government (PEG) access issues and the resolution of disputes between municipal authorities and cable television operators; and the
Network Reliability section evaluates telecommunications systems to ensure compliance with technical and safety standards and provides real-time reporting of outages affecting telecommunications networks in support of the state's overall emergency response effort and monitors the restoration of networks following emergencies and natural disasters.
Office of Electric, Gas, and Water
Michael Worden, Director
Utility Rates & Services focus includes rate cases, tariff filings, system planning and operations, emergency preparedness, gas safety, and utility security (including cyber security), and advanced technology, including smart grid, as well as responsibility for transmission and generation siting.
Accounting, Audits and Finance
Doris D. Stout, Director
Accounting, Audits and Finance performs financial audits and examinations relative to utility rate changes, mergers/acquisitions, fuel clause operations, prudence reviews, and state and federal tax changes. The Office also reviews petitions seeking specialized accounting treatment and approvals to issue financial securities. The Office participates on interdisciplinary teams in all utility industries to assist in ensuring that regulatory actions at Federal, State and local levels align with market conditions. In addition, the Office conducts management and operations audits of utility construction programs, planning and operational efficiencies.
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