The OEB regulates Ontario’s natural gas and electricity sectors. As part of its mandate, the OEB reviews and decides upon applications from gas and electric utilities regarding transmission and distribution rates, payments for regulated generation, the approval of the construction of facilities, mergers and acquisitions, and other related matters. The OEB may also initiate hearings on its own motion.
The OEB is seeking pre-qualified facilitators to assist it with its adjudicative responsibilities.
The OEB’s Rules of Practice and Procedure provide that the OEB may direct the participation in activities as described in section 31 of the OEB’s Rules of Practice and Procedure. These include convening a settlement conference to allow parties to an application to attempt to resolve issues arising from the application. These settlement conferences are referred to as ADR or alternative dispute resolution processes. The role of the facilitator is described in the Practice Direction on Settlement Conferences.
The objective of establishing this roster of facilitators is to assist the OEB in quickly assessing and retaining facilitators to assist the OEB as required.
The desired aim of the ADR process is to see whether a settlement can be reached that is in the public interest. If a settlement is reached, a proposal is filed with the OEB panel hearing the application and the panel can accept, reject or seek amendments to the proposal. It is the role of a facilitator to assist parties in reaching a settlement that is in the public interest. It is not the role of the facilitator to drive a settlement that is contrary to OEB policies or disadvantages one group of customers over another.
OEB staff actively participates in the settlement discussions. OEB staff:
Please see the RFP document for full details, which is available only through MERX at www.merx.com or 1-800-964-6379, MERX reference number 00000156071.
- is sometimes a party to a settlement
- will provide details on OEB policies and prior decisions to parties
- will provide its views on individual issues under discussion
- will file with the OEB panel a submission on OEB staff’s view of whether any settlement is in the public interest
Beyond providing facilitator services to the ADR process, facilitation duties may vary from assignment to assignment. For these activities, the issues and attendant objectives will be described in advance of the particular conference or meeting to the facilitator and participants.
Ontario Energy Board: Practice Direction On Settlement Conferences, Revised April 24, 2014