FERC is expected to announce the long-awaited outcome of itssweeping FERC First review to staff members at various “townmeetings” within the Commission beginning this Wednesday, but it’sunclear if the results will be publicly disclosed this week.

“I don’t know whether it’s going to be made public to theoutside world,” said a staff member, who noted she was e-mailed toattend the first “town meeting” at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. A secondmeeting is scheduled for 3 p.m.

Chairman James Hoecker “has designed what he is calling a seriesof town meetings to be held this week for FERC employees alone. Ipresume there…it will be described to staff what the results ofthe FERC First review are, what recommendations are being made,[and] what the time frame is for implementation,” the staffer said.

The results are the product of a three-month, all-encompassingreview of the Commission’s procedures and processes that was kickedoff in early February. The aim of FERC First was not to examinenatural gas-specific or electric-specific issues, but rather totake a close look at how FERC processes rate filings; how itconducts audits, enforcement and compliance activities; and how itissues licenses. At the start of the review, FERC staffersdismissed any suggestion that the FERC First effort would lead tofurther streamlining of personnel at the Commission.

Fearing that the Commission might be growing dusty and staid,the idea for the FERC First review was spawned at a retreatattended by senior staff management last fall. A task force of 25volunteers from senior management conducted the self-analysis untilMay, at which point recommendations were made to Hoecker. Theeffort was headed up by Christie L. McGue, FERC’s executivedirector and chief financial officer, with the aid of an outsideconsulting firm, Andersen Consulting.

On Monday, Hoecker’s office would only say that the finishingtouches were being put on the FERC First recommendations.

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