SEC. 77-2-1. Public utilities staff created.
There is hereby established a Public Utilities Staff, which shall be completely separate and independent from the Public Service Commission and the Public Service Commission staff. Such staff shall consist of the personnel positions of the executive director, the economic and planning division, legal division, engineering division and accounting division with a State Personnel Board organizational code of twenty thousand (20,000) or larger which were formerly authorized and appropriated under the provisions of Section 77-3-8, Mississippi Code of 1972. The executive director shall establish the organizational structure of the staff, and shall have the authority to create units as deemed appropriate to carry out the responsibilities of the staff. The Public Utilities Staff shall represent the broad interests of the State of Mississippi by balancing the respective concerns of the residential, commercial or industrial ratepayers, and the state and its agencies and departments, and the public utilities. The staff shall consist of a sufficient number of professional, administrative, technical, clerical and other personnel as may be necessary for the staff to perform its duties and responsibilities as hereinafter provided. All such personnel shall be competitively appointed by the executive director and shall be dismissed only for cause in accordance with the rules and regulations of the State Personnel Board. All equipment, supplies, records and any funds appropriated by the Legislature to the Public Service Commission for and on behalf of the Public Utilities Staff shall be transferred to such staff on September 1, 1990. The Public Utilities Staff shall be funded separately from the Mississippi Public Service Commission. Any appropriated funds to the Public Utilities Staff shall be maintained in an account separate from any funds of the Public Service Commission and shall never be commingled therewith.
Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter to the contrary, the personnel positions of the data processing division and the gas pipeline safety division of the Public Utilities Staff shall be the Public Service Commission staff positions authorized under Section 77-3-8, and shall be under the control and supervision of the Public Service Commission from and after March 15, 1991. However, the Public Service Commission staff shall continue to provide at no cost administrative support in the nature of data processing and bookkeeping to the Public Utilities Staff in order to avoid duplication of services.
SOURCES: Laws, 1990, ch. 530, Sec. 25; 1991, ch. 369, Sec. 1, eff from and after passage (approved March 15, 1991).