Department of Energy's Procedures in Funding Intervenors in Proceedings before the Economic Regulatory Administration

EMD-78-111: Published: Oct 2, 1978. Publicly Released: Oct 2, 1978.

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Questions were asked concerning the Department of Energy's (DOE) policies and practices in funding nongovernmental intervenors in proceedings before the Economic Regulatory Administration. DOE has provided intervenor fundings in three cases; the total amount authorized for payment was $127,865. DOE does not have a specific appropriation for intervenor funding and handled funding on a case-by-case basis. DOE has no definitive criteria for determining when it should invite interested parties to petition for intervention funding, but procedures exist for reviewing and approving requests. The Department's actions appeared to be reasonable in the three cases of intervenor funding. Its intervenor funding practices are supported by the Department of Energy Organization Act, but results of a pending suit could affect this position. DOE did not perform an audit to verify the uses of intervenor funds in connection with a 1977 case involving the Consumer Federation of America. Procedures have been established to verify that expenditures for a 1978 case are in accordance with an agreement with the Federation. DOE follows the approach that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) adopted in compensating attorneys, but in the two Federation cases, DOE approved fees higher than FTC rates because of the complexity of the proceedings. It also paid higher consultant fees in the 1978 case than did other Federal agencies for the same reason.

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