News Release: November 18, 2010Docket No. AD07-13-003
FERC recaps activities in 2010 Enforcement Report
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will continue to focus its enforcement efforts on market manipulation and fraud, violations of serious reliability standards, anticompetitive conduct and conduct that threatens the transparency of regulated markets, the new 2010 Report on Enforcement states.
The annual report from the FERC Office of Enforcement, issued today, recaps for the public and the regulated community Enforcement staff activities in fiscal 2010. Available at www.ferc.gov, the 2010 report outlines activities in the following areas:
Transparency: The report highlights recent FERC initiatives to enhance transparency and fairness in the enforcement process. In fiscal 2010, FERC enhanced transparency through the new Penalty Guidelines, an order regarding notices of alleged violations and an order requiring disclosure of exculpatory material under Brady v. Maryland. Enforcement staff also supported the Commission's efforts to increase transparency in the energy markets through the requirement in Order 720-A that major non-interstate pipelines post information for receipt and delivery points at which design capacity is unknown.
Settlements: Enforcement staff entered into six Commission-approved settlement agreements totaling $31 million in civil penalties and an additional $280,000, plus interest, in disgorgement of unjust profits. Enforcement staff also worked on disbursement proceedings for a $25 million disgorgement fund resulting from the 2009 Energy Transfer Partners manipulation claim settlement.
Investigations: Enforcement staff received 93 new self-reports of violations, opened 15 investigations and closed 16 investigations. The report provides expanded data on the types of violations, both self-reported and investigated by staff, and their eventual dispositions. The report also includes short narratives of illustrative self-reports and investigations closed with no action. The Enforcement Hotline received 301 complaints and inquiries during the past year, of which Enforcement staff closed 298.
Audits: Enforcement staff completed 52 audits of public utilities and natural gas pipeline and storage companies. Of these, 25 were audits of public utilities, natural gas pipeline and storage companies and Regional Entities; seven were financial and 18 nonfinancial. These audits generated 210 recommendations for corrective action and included $4.1 million in monetary recoveries from accounting and billing adjustments.
Energy Market Oversight: Enforcement staff produced three publicly available market assessments: State of the Markets Report 2009; the 2009/2010 Winter Energy Market Assessment; and the Summer 2010 Energy Market and Reliability Assessment. Oversight staff also provided a report summarizing the findings of a 30-month study of the competitive effects of removing the price cap for reassigned electric transmission capacity.
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