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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting

Tuesday, March 2, 2004 at 9:30 A.M.
State Capitol Building, Room 412
Pierre, South Dakota

NOTE: If you wish to join this meeting by conference call, please contact the Commission at 605-773-3201 by 5:00 p.m. on March 1, 2004.

NOTE: Notice is further given to persons with disabilities that this Commission meeting is being held in a physically accessible place. If you have special needs, please notify the Commission and we will make all necessary arrangements.



1. TC04-034 In the Matter of the Request for a Confidentiality Determination in Accordance with ARSD 20:10:01:42. (Staff Attorney: Kelly Frazier)

On February 18, 2004, the Commission received a request from staff for a confidentiality determination in accordance with ARSD 20:10:01:42. According to the request, staff is attempting to make claims on the bond proceeds of S&S Communications (S&S). In order to make these claims, staff must provide information to the bonding companies which has been filed as confidential. S&S refuses to permit the release of information filed as confidential to any bonding company that does not sign a confidentiality agreement. The companies have provided staff with Indemnity Agreements signed by S&S which they claim gives them a right to see the information. Neither company has signed the confidentiality agreement. Staff has requested that the Commission make a determination that the information should not be treated as confidential on the basis that the information was not filed in compliance with the provisions of ARSD 20:10:01:41, S&S cannot meet the burden established in ARSD 20:10:01:43 and that the Indemnity Agreements that S&S signed with the bonding companies constitute a waiver of confidentiality as to those companies. A Motion for Order Permitting Release of Information Filed as Confidential was attached to the request. On February 25, 2004, Staff filed an Amended Motion for Order Permitting Release of Information Filed as Confidential in order to correct two clerical errors in the previously filed motion.

TODAY, shall the Commission grant the Amended Motion?

Other Issues

In re NorthWestern Corporation, Case No. 03-12872 (CGC), United States Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Commission Attorney: John Smith)

On September 14, 2003, NorthWestern Corporation (NorthWestern) filed a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. NorthWestern provides electric generation, transmission and distribution services and natural gas distribution services to customers in East Central South Dakota, as a utility regulated by the Commission. According to NorthWestern, at the February 17, 2004, hearing before the Bankruptcy Court, the Court instructed NorthWestern to discuss with other parties to the case whether it was advisable to appoint a fee examiner to review fee submittals by attorneys and other professionals charging fees as administrative expenses of the case.

TODAY, shall the Commission support the appointment of a fee examiner in the NorthWestern bankruptcy case? AND shall the Commission instruc bankruptcy counsel to join in and/or support a motion by a party or the Court to make such appointment?

Heather K. Forney
Deputy Executive Director
February 27, 2004