Oregon Public Utility Commission

Rule Rule 860-001-0340
Ex Parte Communications


Ex parte communications are discouraged and, if made, must be disclosed to ensure an open and impartial decision-making process.


Except as provided in this rule, an ex parte communication is any oral or written communication that:


Is made by a person directly to a Commissioner or presiding ALJ outside the presence of any or all parties of record in pending contested case or declaratory ruling proceedings;


Is made without notice to or an opportunity for rebuttal by all parties; and


Relates to the merits of an issue in the proceedings.


For purposes of this rule, a contested case or declaratory ruling proceeding is pending when the Commission or ALJ issues the first scheduling notice.


A person who has an ex parte communication must promptly notify the presiding ALJ that the communication occurred.


Upon notice of or receipt of an ex parte communication, the presiding ALJ must promptly notify the parties of record of the communication and place the following in the record:


The name of each person who made the communication and the person’s relationship, if any, to a party in the case;


The date and time of the communication;


The circumstances under which the communication was made;


A summary of the matters discussed;


A copy of any written communication; and


Other relevant information concerning the communication.


The presiding ALJ may require the person responsible for the ex parte communication to provide the disclosure and notice of the communication required by this rule.


Within 10 days of the filing date of the notice, a party may file a written rebuttal of the facts or contentions contained in the ex parte communication.


The provisions of this rule do not apply to communications that:


Address procedural issues, such as scheduling or status inquiries, or requests for information having no bearing on the merits of the case;


Are made to a Commissioner or presiding ALJ by a member of Staff who is not a witness in the proceedings;


Are made to a Commissioner or presiding ALJ by an Assistant Attorney General who is not representing Staff in the proceedings;


Are made in rulemaking proceedings conducted under ORS 183.325 (Delegation of rulemaking authority to named officer or employee) through 183.410 (Agency determination of applicability of rule or statute to petitioner); or


The presiding ALJ determines are not subject to this rule, including communications from members of the public that are made part of the administrative file or communications that are the subject of in camera proceedings.


To avoid inadvertent ex parte communications, a person planning to meet individually with a Commissioner or ALJ must indicate whether the discussion will relate to pending proceedings and, if so, which proceedings.

Last accessed
Jun. 8, 2021