Compliance and enforcement

Compliance and enforcement

Ensuring regulated utilities comply with AUC decisions, orders, rules and relevant legislation

The Alberta Utilities Commission’s ensures regulated utilities comply with its decisions, orders and rules, and with the relevant Alberta legislation and regulations the AUC oversees. In its compliance functions and responsibilities, the AUC has an investigation and enforcement role.

The enforcement and investigation efforts can be divided into these four main focus areas:


  
As Alberta's utilities regulator, the AUC has important responsibilities and powers around ensuring the province's utilities legislation is respected, and that the AUC's rulings in decisions and orders are followed. The AUC is focused on ensuring Albertans receive safe and reliable utility service at just and reasonable rates. Our enforcement and compliance work is a critical facet of this role.

In its compliance and enforcement programs, the AUC has core objectives. They are to promote compliance with Alberta utility laws, to prevent harm to any person, public or private property, to preserve the integrity of the AUC's regulatory process, and to ensure that the public and regulated entities understand that there are serious consequences for contraventions.

The AUC's compliance and enforcement approach is guided by the following principles:

  • It is risk-based: The AUC's compliance programs and enforcement actions are directed towards issues and activities posing the greatest risk of harm to public confidence, to the health and safety of the public, and to the integrity of the AUC's regulatory processes.
  • It is proportionate: A number of enforcement options are available to the AUC to encourage compliance. The action taken will be measured in response to the severity of the contravention and the culpability of the utility or regulated entity.
  • It is consistent: Enforcement will be consistent, predictable and timely. The objective will be to ensure that for similar circumstances, contraventions lead to similar enforcement action. Compliant behaviour will be strengthened by timely, predictable and suitable enforcement actions that cause regulated entities to realize that the risk of detection and sanctions outweigh the potential benefits of a contravention.
  • It is authoritative: The AUC's rules and communications will be clear and provide definitive guidance and support on what are the expectations for compliance.
  • It is effective: The objective of enforcement will be to prevent continued harm to the public interest or to the integrity of the AUC's regulatory processes and to ensure that the public and regulated entities are confident that there are fitting consequences for contraventions.

More background on the Alberta Utilities Commission’s approach to enforcement may be found in:

  • Bulletin 2016-10 Practices regarding enforcement proceedings and amendments to Rule 001
  • Bulletin 2014-05 Alberta Utilities Commission enforcement policy
  • Rule 013: Rules on Criteria Relating to the Imposition of Administrative Penalties
  • Rule 015: Rules on Costs of Investigations, Hearings, or Other proceedings Related to Contraventions.

 

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