REGIONAL TARIFF BODIES WILL PLACE THINGS IN CONTEXT
FAS will rank the best and the worst Regional Energy Commissions
“In 2018 the Antimonopoly Service approved the key performance indicators for the regional tariff regulators in the field of the electric power industry. KIPs will be assesses on a 9-score scale. The results will be summed up every year to identify the best and the worst regulators”, informed Head of FAS Department for Regulating the Electric Power Industry, Dmitry Vasiliev at a workshop with representatives of regional antimonopoly bodies during the extended session in Yalta. He also reported that the number of cases on violating the technological connection rules exposed by FAS regional Offices have been reducing since 2014: 824 cases in 2014 against 756 cases in 2017.
Yulia Yudina, Head of FAS Department for Regional Tariff Regulation discussed pricing procedures. She said that until a certain moment the law had not had a clear definition of pricing procedure. The antimonopoly authority assumed the task and FAS Presidium approved the definition, eliminating the controversy.
She also raised an issue on delineating Articles 14.31, 14.6 and 9.21 of the Code on Administrative Violations, as these norms are applied when the pricing procedure is violated. “FAS Presidium adopted No.7 Explanation. Article 9.21 of the Code on Administrative Violations is applied if an economic entity breaches the pricing norms for technological connection to mains or violates the rules for nondiscriminatory access to the mains”, pointed out Yulia Yudina.
“A special issue is delineating Articles 14.31 and 14.6. Attention should be paid to No. 10 Explanation of FAS Presidium, which indicates that if the pricing procedure is violated and it leads to increasing prices, and there are characteristics of violating Article 10 of the Federal Law “On Protection of Competition”, then Article 14.31 of the Code on Administrative Violations is applied”, said Yulia Yudina. “If an economic entity is not dominant or actions of an economic entity that has the dominant position lead to price reduction, Article 14.6 of the Code on Administrative Violations applies”.
She also gave examples of violating the antimonopoly law by regional tariff regulators. The most frequent violations are unreasonable refusals from tariff setting or setting them on a discriminatory basis. Regarding prospective antimonopoly regulation in this part, Yulia Yudina stated that if a regulator breaches the tariff-setting procedure, it constitutes a violation of the antimonopoly and tariff laws, and lead or can lead to competition restriction. “To promptly eliminate it, such mechanisms as prevention should be employed. In our practice there are already cases of issuing warnings to the tariff bodies of the subjects of the Russian Federation”, reported Yulia Yudina.
The workshop participants also discussed enforcement of Article 18.1 of the Federal Law “On Protection of Competition” on competitive bidding for sales. The speaker was Oleg Korneev, Head of FAS Department for Construction and Natural Resources. He listed the main violations of the competitive bidding procedures. “Failure to publish exhaustive information on the subject of competitive bidding and the bid-filing procedure constitutes one of the main violations. Next type of violations is fixing unlawful and sometimes non-administered requirements to the bids by the organizers of competitive bidding”, said Oleg Korneev. “Electronic sites also restrict access to competitive bidding, particularly by fixing excessive requirements to documents and a complex and multi-stages registration procedure”.
Discussing consideration of complaints about competitive bidding, he gave the following statistics: in 2017 FAS considered 12628 complaints, of which 4601 were found justified. “In comparison with 2016 one may conclude that last year the number of unsubstantiated complaints went up”, stated Oleg Korneev.
Summing up, he outlined the results of the work of his Department in the part of amending regulatory acts designed to improvecompetitive bidding procedures.