The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) is a national non-profit membership organization founded in 1889. Its members include governmental bodies of the fifty U.S. states and the District of Columbia engaged in the regulation of public utilities, as well as a growing number of its international associate members.
NARUC serves as the administrator of the Regulatory Partnership Program. The activities are supported through funding from individual United States Agency for International Development Missions. The Partnerships typically last two years, with 3-4 exchange activities per year, divided between the U.S. and the partnered international regulatory body. NARUC identifies partners that share as many similarities as possible.
The partners work to develop a work plan outlining the course of the Partnership, addressing the needs of the international regulator and interests of the U.S. Public Utility Commission (PUC). Topics include restructuring, competition, tariff methodology and rate design, third-party access, energy efficiency, cross-border trade, public hearings, public relations, and commission administration/management. The partnering agencies decide which issues and topics are most important to the success of the Partnership. Generally one U.S. PUC partners with one foreign regulatory agency however the Partnership sometimes include visits to other U.S. Commissions for additional perspectives and information. Other possible activities include site visits to U.S. federal regulatory agencies, utilities, and state legislative bodies.
Under the broad umbrella of the Partnership program, members of the regulatory agencies involved in the Partnership are encouraged to participate in training programs, meetings, and conferences related to regulatory practices and issues. The Partnerships deepen the linkages forged between international and U.S. regulators through other programs in the region and the United States. If the partnered regulatory bodies agree, there is also the possibility of arranging short-term internships at U.S. commissions. These activities greatly enhance the long-term sustainability of the relationships.
The Partnerships are designed to begin as broad introductions, becoming more and more complex and specific over the course of the program. Between exchange activities, the regulators correspond and exchange documents via e-mail to prepare for the next activity and to discuss issues, which arise during the interim. In all, the Partnership allows broad access to U.S. regulatory practices and offers American regulators the chance to learn new techniques and methodologies as well as gain an understanding of the international regulatory environment.
Director, International Programs
tel: (202) 898-1070
fax: (202) 384-1563