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TITLE 16ECONOMIC REGULATION
PART 2PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION OF TEXAS
CHAPTER 25SUBSTANTIVE RULES APPLICABLE TO ELECTRIC SERVICE PROVIDERS
SUBCHAPTER OUNBUNDLING AND MARKET POWER
DIVISION 2INDEPENDENT ORGANIZATIONS
RULE §25.362Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) Governance

(a) Purpose. This section provides standards for the governance of an independent organization within the ERCOT region.

(b) Application. This section applies to ERCOT or any other organization within the ERCOT region that qualifies as an independent organization under PURA §39.151.

(c) Adoption of rules by ERCOT and commission review. ERCOT shall adopt and comply with procedures concerning the adoption and revision of ERCOT rules.

  (1) The procedures shall provide for advance notice to interested persons, an opportunity to file written comments or participate in public discussions, and, in the case of market protocols, operating guides, planning guides, and market guides, an evaluation by ERCOT of the costs and benefits to the organization and the operation of electricity markets.

  (2) ERCOT staff, the independent market monitor, and the commission's reliability monitor may comment on any proposed change in ERCOT rules that affects the operation and competitiveness of markets operated by ERCOT or reliability of the electric network in ERCOT.

  (3) If the findings of a commission-mandated audit of ERCOT operations or governance indicate the need for a change in operating practices or procedures or governance rules, ERCOT shall develop and submit to the commission a plan for implementing the changes. ERCOT shall implement the plan, as approved by the commission. Commission-mandated audits, as contemplated in PURA §39.151(d) and (d-1), shall be funded by ERCOT and do not require approval by the governing board of ERCOT.

  (4) The commission may review a provision of ERCOT's articles of incorporation or by-laws, or a new or amended ERCOT rule on the application of an interested person, including commission staff and the Office of Public Utility Counsel.

  (5) The commission shall process requests for review of a provision of ERCOT's articles of incorporation or by-laws, a new or amended ERCOT rule, or ERCOT decision in accordance with §22.251 of this title (relating to Review of Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) Conduct). A request for review under this subsection initiated by the commission, commission staff, or the Office of Public Utility Counsel is not subject to the alternative dispute resolution requirements in §22.251(c) of this title, which requires the use of Section 20 of the ERCOT Protocols (Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedures), Section 21 of the Protocols (Process for Protocol Revision), or other applicable ERCOT procedures. In addition, the commission may, for good cause, waive the requirement that a complaint be filed within the time prescribed in §22.251(d) of this title.

(d) Access to meetings. ERCOT shall adopt and comply with procedures for providing access to its meetings to market participants and the general public. These procedures shall include provisions on advance notice of the time, place, and topics to be discussed during open and closed portions of the meetings, and making and retaining a record of the meetings. Records of meetings of the governing board shall be retained permanently, and ERCOT shall establish reasonable retention periods, but not less than five years, for records of other meetings.

(e) Access to information. This subsection governs access to information held by ERCOT.

  (1) ERCOT shall adopt and comply with procedures that allow persons to request and obtain access to records that ERCOT has or has access to relating to the governance and budget of the organization, market operations, reliability, settlement, customer registration, and access to the transmission system. ERCOT shall make these procedures publicly available. Information that is available for public disclosure pursuant to ERCOT procedures shall normally be provided within ten business days of the receipt of a request for the information. If a response requires more than ten business days, ERCOT shall notify the requester of the expected delay and the anticipated date that the information may be available. ERCOT's procedures regarding access to records shall be consistent with this chapter and commission orders.

    (A) Information submitted to or collected by ERCOT pursuant to requirements of ERCOT rules shall be protected from public disclosure only if it is designated as Protected Information pursuant to ERCOT rules, except as otherwise provided in this subsection.

    (B) ERCOT shall promptly respond to a request from the commission, a commissioner, a commissioner's designee, the commission executive director, or the executive director's designee for information that ERCOT collects, creates or maintains, in order to provide the commission access to information that the commission, a commissioner, a commissioner's designee, the executive director, or the executive director's designee determines is necessary to carry out the commission's responsibilities for oversight of ERCOT and the wholesale and retail markets.

    (C) In the absence of a request for information under the Texas Public Information Act, Texas Government Code Annotated, the commission staff may seek to release information that the commission has in its possession or has access to that has been designated as Protected Information under ERCOT rules, and the commission may determine the validity of the asserted claim of confidentiality through a contested-case proceeding. In a contested-case proceeding conducted by the commission pursuant to this subsection, the staff, the entity that provided the information to the commission, and ERCOT will have an opportunity to present information or comment to the commission on whether the information is subject to protection from disclosure under law.

    (D) In connection with any challenge to the confidentiality of information under subparagraph (C) of this paragraph, any person who asserts a claim of confidentiality with respect to the information must, at a minimum, state in writing the specific reasons why the information is subject to protection from public disclosure and provide legal authority in support of the assertion.

  (2) Commission employees, consultants, agents, and attorneys who have access to Protected Information pursuant to this section shall not disclose such information except as provided in the Texas Public Information Act.

(f) Conflicts of interest. ERCOT shall adopt policies to ensure that its operations are not affected by conflicts of interests relating to its employees' outside employment and financial interests and its contractors' relationships with other businesses. These policies shall include an obligation to protect confidential information obtained by virtue of employment or a business relationship with ERCOT.

(g) Qualifications, selection, and removal of members of the governing board. ERCOT shall establish and implement criteria for an individual to serve as a member of its governing board, procedures to determine whether an individual meets these criteria, and procedures for removal of an individual from service if the individual ceases to meet the criteria.

  (1) The qualification criteria shall include:

    (A) Definitions of the market sectors;

    (B) Levels of activity in the electricity business in the ERCOT region that an organization in a market sector must meet, in order for a representative of the organization to serve as a member of the governing board;

    (C) Standards of good standing that an organization must meet, in order for a representative of the organization to serve as a member of the governing board; and

    (D) Standards of good standing that an individual must meet, in order for the individual to serve as a member of the governing board.

  (2) The procedures for removal of a member from service on the governing board shall include:

    (A) Procedures for determining whether an organization or individual meets the criteria adopted under paragraph (1) of this subsection; and

    (B) Procedures for the removal of an individual from the governing board if the individual or the organization that the individual represents no longer meets the criteria adopted under paragraph (1) of this subsection or violates an ERCOT rule, including a written ERCOT policy adopted under this section, or commission rule, or applicable statute.

  (3) The procedures adopted under paragraph (2) of this subsection shall:

    (A) Permit any interested party to present information that relates to whether an individual or organization meets the criteria specified in paragraph (1) of this subsection or has violated an ERCOT rule, including a written ERCOT policy adopted under this section, or commission rule, or applicable statute; and

    (B) Specify how decisions concerning the qualification of an individual or whether an individual has violated an ERCOT rule or written ERCOT policy or procedure adopted under this section, or commission rule, or applicable statute will be made.

  (4) A decision concerning an individual or organization's qualification or an individual's removal from the governing board is subject to review by the commission.

  (5) ERCOT shall notify the commissioners when a vacancy occurs for an unaffiliated member of the governing board. ERCOT shall provide information to the commissioners concerning the process for selecting a new member, the candidates who have been identified and their qualifications, any recommendation that will be made to the governing board, and any other information requested by a commissioner. The selection of an unaffiliated member of the governing board is subject to approval by the commission. A person who is selected may not serve as a member of the governing board until the commission approves the selection. An unaffiliated board member whose three-year term has expired shall, if reappointed by the ERCOT governing board, cease serving as a member of the governing board until the reappointment is approved by the commission. The commission may remove an unaffiliated member of the governing board for cause. Compensation, per diem and travel reimbursements to be paid to unaffiliated members of the governing board shall be subject to commission review and approval. As used in this paragraph, "cause" shall mean:

    (A) a violation of a commission rule or applicable statute, an ERCOT rule, or written ERCOT policy or procedure adopted under this section;

    (B) a director is indicted or charged with a felony or is convicted of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude;

    (C) conduct inconsistent with a director's fiduciary duty to ERCOT or that may reflect poorly upon the board or ERCOT; or

    (D) a fundamental disagreement with the commission as to the policies or procedures that ERCOT shall adopt, in each case as determined by the commission at its sole discretion.

  (6) A member of the governing board of ERCOT appointed after the effective date of this paragraph who serves as an unaffiliated member may not represent a market participant before the governing board of ERCOT, the ERCOT technical advisory committee, or any of its subcommittees or working groups, for a period of one year after the person ceases to serve as a member of the governing board.

(h) Chief executive officer. The appointment of the chief executive officer of ERCOT is subject to commission approval. ERCOT shall notify the commissioners when a vacancy occurs for the chief executive officer. ERCOT shall provide information to the commissioners concerning the process for selecting a new chief executive officer, the candidates who have been identified and their qualifications, any recommendation that will be made to the governing board, and any other information requested by a commissioner. A person may not seek the position of the ERCOT chief executive officer while serving as a commissioner. Compensation to be paid to the ERCOT chief executive officer shall be subject to commission review and approval.

(i) Required reports and other information. ERCOT shall file with the commission the reports and provide the information required by this subsection.

  (1) The qualification criteria shall include:

    (A) Definitions of the market sectors;

    (B) Levels of activity in the electricity business in the ERCOT region that an organization in a market sector must meet, in order for a representative of the organization to serve as a member of the governing board;

    (C) Standards of good standing that an organization must meet, in order for a representative of the organization to serve as a member of the governing board; and

    (D) Standards of good standing that an individual must meet, in order for the individual to serve as a member of the governing board.

  (2) Operations report and plan. No later than January 15 of each year, ERCOT shall file an operations report and plan. The commission may initiate a review of the plan, at its discretion. The report and plan shall contain the following information:

    (A) A copy of an independent audit of ERCOT's market operation for the report year;

    (B) A summary of key market operations statistics, including prices and quantities of energy and capacity purchased in the markets operated by ERCOT;

    (C) A summary of key reliability statistics;

    (D) A summary of transmission planning and generation interconnection activities and the most recent report on capacity, demand and reserves;

Cont'd...

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