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Commission Structure

Organizational Chart

A staff of approximately 150 employees assist the three commissioners and make the commission run. 

UTC Divisions

Administrative Law

The commission conducts many formal case proceedings each year, including general rate increase cases, complaints, tariff investigations, and other investigations. Administrative Law Judges in the Administrative Law Division preside over these adjudications with the commissioners or alone. In addition to this role, the ALJs serve the commissioners by drafting orders and providing advice in rule making proceedings. They also serve in a legal policy role, advising the commissioners on matters of general regulatory policy. The division includes the following sections: Administrative Law, Records Center, Information Governance, Legal Support, and the Library.

 

Administrative Services

Administrative Services staff support the critical infrastructure of the commission, improving processes, managing technology and cybersecurity, and improving the culture at the UTC. The division includes the following sections: Organizational Strategy and Performance, Finance, Facilities, and Information Services.

Assistant Attorney General

The commission staff is represented in formal case proceedings by a subdivision of the Office of the Attorney General assigned to the commission. The attorneys in this office are Assistant Attorneys General who, in addition to representing staff before the commission, are responsible for representing the commission when its decisions are appealed to the courts.

Consumer Protection and Communications

The Consumer Protection and Communications division provides a range of services to customers of regulated utility and transportation, to stakeholders, and to representatives of regulated companies. Consumer Protection staff assist customers by managing the UTC Help Line and online chat. Compliance and complaint investigation staff investigate complaints about regulated companies, and help companies stay in compliance. Communication staff manage the website, social media, media relations, and all other communications at the commission.

Human Resources

The Human Resources Division supports staff engagement, personnel management including hiring and recruitment, equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts, and internal policy development and implementation.

 

Pipeline Safety

The Pipeline Safety Division conducts inspections of the 28 operators of natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines in Washington to ensure operators are in compliance with state and federal pipeline safety standards. These pipelines own and operate over 21,000 miles of pipe in Washington State. The commission has authority over intrastate pipelines and is one of relatively a few states with authority from the federal Office of Pipeline Safety to inspect interstate pipelines. The section provides technical assistance to local government agencies on pipeline issues. It is also developing a comprehensive pipeline geographic information system in support of the needs of the agency's pipeline inspection program and to assist first-responders in Washington. The commission is the lead state agency for Pipeline Safety.

 

Policy and Legislation

Policy and Legislation is responsible for maintaining the external relationships of the commission, including relationships with federal regulatory agencies, state and federal legislative bodies, and the public. Policy staff provide substantive advisory support to the commissioners and to Administrative Law Judges in contested cases before the commission. (In contested cases the commissioners may not consult with regulatory staff, which acts as an independent party of the case.) Policy staff also coordinate the commission's state and federal legislative activities; coordinate policy development with the Governor's Office; analyze and prepare responses to policies put forth by federal regulatory agencies (FERC and FCC); and research emerging issues and changes in the regulatory environment caused by new economic, financial, institutional and technological trends.

Regulatory Services

The purpose of the Regulatory Services Division is to conduct economic regulation of investor-owned utilities, solid waste collection companies, household goods movers, private passenger ferries, excursion boats, and bus companies. Activities include: reviewing company filings; petitions and applications; inspecting plant and equipment; auditing budgets and reports; making recommendations to the commission on specific filings; and presenting testimony and exhibits in formal hearings. This division has four sections: Energy, Telecommunications, Water and Transportation, and Conservation and Energy Planning.

Transportation Safety

The Transportation Safety Division ensures transportation companies operate in a safe manner and in compliance with state and federal regulations. The program accomplishes this through safety fitness evaluations, safety investigations, destination checks, and vehicle inspections targeted at companies with high risk profiles, and is responsible for registering motor carrier companies. The division includes Rail Safety, Motor Carrier Safety, and Licensing Services.