Commission staff, former commissioners and industry representatives will testify Friday (Nov. 16) at a conference being held by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to examine its implementation of FERC's enforcement authority as expanded by the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Following up on previous notices about the conference, FERC said its purpose is to assess the Commission's enforcement program primarily as it pertains to the additional subject matter authority and the expanded civil penalty authority in Part II of the Federal Power Act and the Natural Gas Act. Standards of conduct, market monitoring, transparency and market manipulation will not be discussed as they are involved in or implicated by pending Commission proceedings. The Commission will accept comments filed within 30 days after the conference.

A panel comprised of staff from the Office of Enforcement will first present an overview of the Commission's actions and related enforcement activities, followed by a panel consisting of former members of the Commission, presenting a broad policy perspective as well as from their perspectives of advising clients on how to comply with the Commission's rules and regulations. The third panel will address similar topics, but from the more specific perspective of energy practitioners. It will include a presentation from a representative of a company that, pursuant to a stipulation and agreement with Commission staff, developed and implemented a "best in class" model for regulatory compliance. In addition, the Commission has asked to hear how practitioners counsel clients on how to respond to the Commission's enforcement staff during an investigation, including the factors weighed in the decision to self-report.

The fourth panel will focus on reliability issues and includes representatives from the Electric Reliability Organization, regional entities and a utility. This discussion will look at how these entities are processing self-reported violations and other compliance matters, as well as provide a utility perspective regarding compliance with the new mandatory reliability standards.

The one-day conference will be held in the Commission Meeting Room at the Commission's headquarters starting at 9 a.m. EDT.

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