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The DC Code: § 34-804 People's Counsel--Appointment, compensation, qualifications; personnel; duties.

Index34 Public Utilities. (Refs & Annos)
a
There is hereby established within the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia, established by § 34-801, an office to be known as the "Office of the People's Counsel." The Office shall be a party, as of right, in any investigation, valuation, revaluation, or proceeding of any nature by the Public Service Commission of or concerning any public utility operating in the District of Columbia.
b
There shall be at the head of such Office the People's Counsel who shall be appointed by the Mayor of the District of Columbia, by and with the advice and consent of the Council of the District of Columbia, and who shall serve for a term of 3 years. The People's Counsel shall be entitled to receive compensation at the maximum rate for Level II of the Senior Executive Attorney Service, pursuant to §§ 1-608.53 and 1-608.58. No person shall be appointed to the position of People's Counsel unless that person is admitted to practice before the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. Before entering upon the duties of such office, the People's Counsel shall take and subscribe the same oaths as that required by the commissioners of the Commission, including an oath or affirmation before the Clerk of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia that he is not pecuniarily interested, voluntarily or involuntarily, directly or indirectly, in any public utility in the District of Columbia. The People's Counsel shall be a District resident throughout his or her term and failure to maintain District residency shall result in a forfeiture of the position.
c
The People's Counsel is authorized to employ or to retain and fix the compensation of employees or independent contractors, including attorneys, necessary to perform the functions vested in the People's Counsel by this section, and § 34-912, as amended by the Utility Regulatory Assessment Clarification Act of 1984, and prescribe their authority and duties.
c-1
Notwithstanding the provisions of Unit A of Chapter 14 of Title 2, each qualified District resident applicant shall receive an additional 10-point preference over a qualified non-District resident applicant for all positions within the Office of the People's Counsel unless the applicant declines the preference. This 10-point preference shall be in addition to, and not instead of, qualifications established for the position. All persons hired after February 6, 2008, shall submit proof of residency upon employment in a manner determined by the People's Counsel. An applicant claiming the hiring preference under this section shall agree in writing to maintain bona fide District residency for a period of 7 consecutive years from the effective date of hire and shall provide proof of such residency annually to the director of personnel for the Office of the People's Counsel for the first 7 years of employment. Failure to maintain District residency for the consecutive 7-year period shall result in forfeiture of employment. The People's Counsel shall submit to the Mayor and Council annual reports detailing the names of all new employees and their pay schedules, titles, and place of residence.
d
The People's Counsel:
1
Shall represent and appeal for the people of the District of Columbia at hearings of the Commission and in judicial proceedings in the District of Columbia courts when these proceedings and hearings involve the interests of users of the products of or services furnished by public utilities under the jurisdiction of the Commission;
2
May represent and appeal for the people of the District of Columbia at proceedings before related federal regulatory agencies and commissions and federal courts when those proceedings involve the interests of users of the products of or services furnished by public utilities under the jurisdiction of the Commission;
3
May represent and appear for petitioners appearing before the Commission for the purpose of complaining in matters of rates or services;
4
May investigate independently, or within the context of formal proceedings before the Commission, the services given by, the rates charged by, and the valuation of the properties of the public utilities under the jurisdiction of the Commission; and
5
May develop means to otherwise assure that the interests of the users of the products of or services furnished by public utilities under the jurisdiction of the Commission are adequately represented in the course of proceedings before the Commission, federal or District of Columbia courts, or federal regulatory agencies and commissions involving those interests, including public information dissemination, consultative services, and technical assistance.
e
In defining its positions while advocating on matters pertaining to the operation of public utility or energy companies, the Office shall consider the public safety, the economy of the District of Columbia, the conservation of natural resources, and the preservation of environmental quality.

Historical and Statutory

Prior Codifications 1981 Ed., § 43-406. 1973 Ed., § 43-205. Effect of Amendments D.C. Law 16-33 substituted "The People's Counsel shall be entitled to receive compensation at the midpoint rate for Level III of the Senior Executive Attorney Service, pursuant to §§ 1-608.53 and 1-608.58." for "The People's Counsel shall be entitled to receive compensation at the maximum rate as may be established from time to time for GS-16 of the General Schedule under § 5332 of Title 5 of the United States Code or equivalent compensation pursuant to subchapter XI of Chapter 6 of Title 1.". D.C. Law 17-108, in subsec. (b), inserted "The People's Counsel shall be a District resident throughout his or her term and failure to maintain District residency shall result in a forfeiture of the position."; and added subsec. (c-1). D.C. Law 17-210, in subsec. (b), substituted "Level II" for "Level III" and substituted "at the maximum rate" for "at the midpoint rate". D.C. Law 17-353 made a technical change in the enacting clause of D.C. Law 16- 33, § 3017, which resulted in no change in text. D.C. Law 17-250 added subsec. (e). Temporary Amendments of Section For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of (D.C. Law 16-248, March 8, 2007, law notification 54 DCR 3033). Emergency Act Amendments For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3017 of Fiscal Year 2006 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2005 (D.C. Act 16-168, July 26, 2005, 52 DCR 7667). For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Office of the People's Council Term Clarification Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-526, December 4, 2006, 53 DCR 9822). For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 402 of Clean and Affordable Energy Emergency Act of 2008 (D.C. Act 17-508, September 25, 2008, 55 DCR 10856). For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of People's Counsel Holdover Extension Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-241, December 17, 2009, 56 DCR 9376). For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of People's Counsel Holdover Extension Emergency Amendment Act of 2010 (D.C. Act 18-345, March 23, 2010, 57 DCR 2858). Legislative History of Laws For legislative history of D.C. Law 2-139, see Historical and Statutory Notes following § 34-801. For legislative history of D.C. Law 5-153, see Historical and Statutory Notes following § 34-706. For Law 16-33, see notes following § 34-912. Law 17-108, the "Jobs for D.C. Residents Amendment Act of 2007", was introduced in Council and assigned Bill No. 17-185 which was referred to the Committee on Workforce Development and Government Operations. The Bill was adopted on first and second readings on July 10, 2007, and October 2, 2007, respectively. Signed by the Mayor on October 26, 2007, it was assigned Act No. 17-172 and transmitted to both Houses of Congress for its review. D.C. Law 17-108 became effective on February 6, 2008. Law 17-210, the "Compensation and Holdover Clarification Amendment Act of 2008", was introduced in Council and assigned Bill No.17-452 which was referred to Public Services and Consumer Affairs. The Bill was adopted on first and second readings on May 6, 2008, and June 3, 2008, respectively. Signed by the Mayor on June 18, 2008, it was assigned Act No. 17-406 and transmitted to both Houses of Congress for its review. D.C. Law 17-210 became effective on August 15, 2008. Law 17-250, the "Clean and Affordable energy Amendment Act of 2008", was introduced in Council and assigned Bill No. 17-492 which was referred to the Committee on Public Services and Consumer Affairs. The Bill was adopted on first and second readings on July 1, 2008, and July 15, 2008, respectively. Signed by the Mayor on August 4, 2008, it was assigned Act No. 17-497 and transmitted to both Houses of Congress for its review. D.C. Law 17-250 became effective on October 22, 2008. References in Text The "Utility Regulatory Assessment Clarification Act of 1984," referred to in subsection (c) of this section, is D.C. Law 5-153. Miscellaneous Notes This section was originally enacted Mar. 4, 1913, 37 Stat. 993, ch. 150, § 8. A new paragraph 91A was added establishing the People's Counsel Dec. 15, 1926, 44 Stat. 921, ch. 8, § 3; the Office of People's Counsel established by 44 Stat. 921 was abolished 1952 Reorg. Plan No. 5, § 2(b), 66 Stat. 824. A new Office of the People's Counsel was established Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1975, Pub. L. 93-614, § 1. DC CODE § 34-804 Current through December 11, 2012

Credits

(Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1975, Pub. L. 93-614, § 1; Mar. 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-139, § 3205(gg), 25 DCR 5740; Mar. 14, 1985, D.C. Law 5-153, § 2, 31 DCR 6440; Oct. 20, 2005, D.C. Law 16-33, § 3017, 52 DCR 7503; Feb. 6, 2008, D.C. Law 17-108, § 212(a), 54 DCR 10993; Aug. 15, 2008, D.C. Law 17- 210, § 2, 55 DCR 6982; Oct. 22, 2008, D.C. Law 17-250, § 402, 55 DCR 9225; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-353, § 212, 56 DCR 1117.)