Arkansas Public Service Commission
The Arkansas Public Service Commission (PSC) regulates public utilities which provide electric, gas, telecommunications, water and sewer services to Arkansas consumers. The General Assembly of Arkansas created the PSC and delegated to it the power to regulate the services and rates of those utilities subject to its jurisdiction. Primary responsibilities are to ensure that service is safe and adequate and that rates are just and reasonable. In general, the PSC is charged with the duty of ensuring that a public utility charges a rate that will give it a fair return on invested capital and ensuring that the consumer does not pay more than necessary to produce a fair return to the utility for its service. The PSC consists of three Commissioners appointed by the Governor. The agency also has 108 regular staff positions divided into the Commissioners' Staff, PSC General Staff, and the Tax Division. The Commissioners have oversight responsibility for all the staff, but spend a majority of their time dealing with utility issues. The Commissioners function as a quasi-legislative body, with quasi-judicial authority. In that capacity, they render decisions and develop orders for implementing those decisions. The decisions cover a wide spectrum of issues including policy matters, rates, tariffs, territory allocations, utility plant construction sitings, bond issues, assessment protests in opposition to Tax Division determinations, and equalization of property tax assessments by local Equalization Boards.