Chapter 4901-3 Open Commission Meetings

4901-3-01 Commission meetings.

(A) Open meetings.

(1) All meetings of the public utilities commission at which official action is taken and formal deliberation upon official business is conducted shall be opened to the public. All resolutions, rules, or formal action of any kind shall be adopted in an open meeting of the public utilities commission. A majority of the members of the public utilities commission shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of conducting business.

(2) The public utilities commission may hold an executive session for the purpose of the consideration of a matter contained in division (G) of section 121.22 of the Revised Code. An executive session may be held only at a meeting for which notice has been given in accordance with paragraph (C) of this rule and only after a majority of a quorum of the public utilities commission determines, by a roll call vote, to hold such a session.

(B) Types of meetings.

(1) The public utilities commission regularly meets on Wednesday to discuss issues in individual cases and to vote on orders and entries to be issued in cases. The commission may, in its discretion, schedule meetings on other days to discuss and vote on entries and orders in pending cases. Unless otherwise noticed by the commission, meetings are held at the offices of the public utilities commission, 180 East Broad street, Columbus, Ohio. The time of the meetings will be shown on the agenda issued for the meetings.

(2) An emergency meeting is one which is noticed to the public less than twenty-four hours prior to the start of the meeting.

(C) Notice of meetings.

(1) Any person may determine the time, place, and matters on the agenda for a commission meeting scheduled to consider cases or a specific or general topic by calling the commission's legal department at 614-466-6843 during normal business hours or by consulting the information rack located within the commission's docketing division located on the thirteenth floor of the commission's offices. The meeting agendas are also available on the commission's web site (www.puco.ohio.gov). Upon request to the commission's legal department, the commission will distribute agendas, as they become available, via e-mail. The agendas for a regular meeting scheduled for the following week will usually be available by close of business on the preceding Thursday.

(2) Copies of the agenda for an emergency meeting, if time permits for the preparation of an agenda, will be available in the information racks and on the commission's web site and distributed by e-mail as early as possible prior to the start of the meeting.

(3) Requests to receive commission meeting agendas by e-mail should be directed to the legal department, public utilities commission of Ohio, 180 East Broad street, Columbus, Ohio 43215-3793, or by calling the legal department at 614-466-4843 or by subscribing at the commission's web site.

(D) Agendas

(1) The agenda for commission meetings in which specific cases are to be considered shall include the case number and a brief description of the case name. If a meeting is scheduled to consider a specific or general topic or subject matter, the agenda will only give the topic or subject matter to be discussed.

(2) If a case, topic, or subject matter needs to be added to an agenda after the agenda has been issued, the additions shall be noticed in the same manner as if an emergency meeting were scheduled, i.e., if time permits, the additions will be available in the information racks and on the commission's web site and distributed by e-mail and fax as early as possible prior to the start of the meeting.

(E) Minutes

(1) Minutes of the commission's meetings during a week shall be considered and adopted at the next regularly scheduled meeting at which the commission votes on orders and entries to be issued in cases.

(2) Upon adoption, the secretary of the commission shall be responsible for maintaining the minutes.

Effective: 05/07/2007
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 02/20/2007 and 09/30/2010
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4901.13
Rule Amplifies: 121.22 , 4901.13
Prior Effective Dates: 12/16/77, 11/17/88, 4/20/89, 10/26/91, 4/4/96, 3/28/01

4901-3-02 Photographing, filming, and recording.

Persons may videotape, photograph, film, or record commission meetings and public hearings in accordance with the following procedures, which are promulgated to assure decorum and fairness to all parties, consistent with the goal that the public be fully informed.

(A) Any person may videotape, film, record, or photograph commission meetings and public hearings.

(B) The person in charge of a meeting or hearing may, if deemed necessary, designate the area where stationary cameras, lighting, or other auxiliary equipment is to be located.

(C) A person operating a portable or hand-held camera shall remain seated while filming or stand in the back or along the sides of the room. The person shall not block the view of those seated in the room.

(D) Unless preauthorized approval is obtained from the person in charge of the meeting or hearing, tape recorders and other audio equipment (e.g., microphones) shall be located at the operator's seat during the meeting or hearing. A mult box is available in the commission meeting room for use in recording events that occur in that room.

(E) During a hearing or meeting, reporters or commentators orally describing the events shall not be located within the room where the meeting or hearing is being conducted.

(F) The use of cellular phones or other voice-related devices in a room where a meeting or hearing is being conducted is prohibited. Cellular phones and beepers shall not transmit an audio notification after the start of a meeting or hearing.

(G) A commissioner, hearing examiner, or the commission employee responsible for conducting a meeting or hearing has the authority to enforce, waive, or modify any of the above procedures when deemed necessary to preserve the decorum or fairness of a commission proceeding and to exclude from the meeting or hearing any person who violates any of the procedures set forth in this rule or fails to follow a directive.

Effective: 05/07/2007
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 02/20/2007 and 09/30/2010
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 4901.13
Rule Amplifies: 4901.13 , 4901.18
Prior Effective Dates: 12/16/77, 4/4/96, 3/28/01