ERA - Electricity Regulatory Authority

Public Hearings on Applications

  1. Introduction
  2. Notice of public hearing.
  3. Procedure at public hearing.
  4. Presentation of application at public hearing.
  5. Presentations by stakeholders and the public.
  6. Reference to journals, studies and reports.
  7. Closing response by applicant.
  8. Overview of public hearing
  9. Adjournment.
  10. Media coverage.
  11. Decision on application by Authority
  12. Report of public hearing.

1.  Public Hearing

  1. The Authority may conduct a public hearing in respect of any application made under The Electricity (Application for Permit, License and Tariff Review) Regulations, 2007.
  2. A public hearing shall promote transparency and good governance in the decision making processes of the Authority and shall:
    1. provide an opportunity for stakeholders and the public to participate in the socio-economic, political and environmental impact assessment of the permit, licence or tariff review application;
    2. provide comments, questions and answers in respect of applications before the Authority ; and
    3. provide information which may assist the Authority to arrive at a fair and just decision in respect of an application before it.

2.  Notice of public hearing.

  1. The Authority shall give notice of a public hearing:
    1. in at leas t one newspaper of wide circulation in Uganda;
    2. in a newspaper having general circulation in the area where the proposed subject of the application is to be located ; or through any other form of mass media or communicat ion.
  2. The notice of a public hearing shall be in Form D.
  3. The notice of a public hearing shall be published at least seven days before the hearing.
  4. The Authority shall post the notice of public hearing at the district or subcounty headquarters in which the subject or project of the application is to be located.
  5. The Authority may serve a notice of public hearing in Form E, upon any person, body, institution or organisation by ordinary mail, inviting any person, body, institution or organisation to make a presentation at the hearing.

3.  Procedure at public hearing.

  1. A public hearing shall be held in public, in any place in Uganda.
  2. A public hearing shall be conducted in English and shall be presided over by the Chairperson of the Authority or any other person appointed by the Authority for that purpose.
  3. The Authority shall, where it is practicable to do so, hold at least one session of a public hearing in the community nearest to or within the area in which the proposed project or subject matter is to be located.
  4. A public hearing shall not be a judicial or quasi-judicial hearing and as such, the rules of procedure in courts of laws shall not apply.
  5. The Authority shall apply the rules of natural justice and give a fair hearing to any stakeholder and to any person wishing to give views, comments or submissions on the project or subject matter of the hearing.
  6. Where a public hearing is held in more than one session in different places, the Authority shall consider all submissions and presentations as if they were made or presented at the same location and no person shall be allowed to reappear before the Authority to submit the same facts or complaints.
  7. The Authority shall not entertain irrelevant, repetitive, embarrassing or abusive questions, presentations or answers at a public hearing.
  8. Subject to subregulation (3g.), the Authority may regulate the procedure at a public hearing.

4.  Presentation of application at public hearing.

  1. The applicant shall orally present the application before a public hearing, giving the economic and social benefits to the community or the people of Uganda in granting the application.
  2. The applicant shall be represented at a public hearing by an authorised representative and any number of persons as the applicant may consider appropriate to present the interests of the applicant and answer questions that may be addressed to the applicant.
  3. The Authority shall provide a reasonable period of time to the applicant to enable the applicant to effectively present their case.

5.  Presentations by stakeholders and the public.

  1. Any stakeholder or other interested person wishing to make a formal presentation before a public hearing shall register their interest with the Authority at least two days before the hearing, providing the name, address and affiliation of the stakeholder or interested party.
  2. There shall be two categories of presentations at a public hearing:
    1. formal presentations, given through a written statement or question submitted to the Authority at the time of registration or at least two days before the hearing; and
    2. informal presentations which shall not be in writing,
  3. The written statement or question referred to in subregulation (5a)(i) shall be in English.
  4. A person registered for a formal presentation shall be given sufficient time to develop his or her ease at a public hearing and shall make his or her presentation immediately after the initial presentation by the applicant.
  5. A person registered for an informal presentation shall give his or her presentation within a period not exceeding ten minutes and shall make his or her presentation after persons registered for formal presentations have made their presentations
  6. A person registered for an informal presentation may give his or her presentation in a local language, except that the presenter shall provide a person to translate the presentation into English, at the
    presenter 's cost.
  7. Interested parties and stakeholders may present their views as a group.
  8. The applicant may raise any question or questions to any stakeholder or interested person after the presentations of the interested parties and stakeholders.

6.  Reference to journals, studies and reports.

  1. The Authority may, at a public hearing, accept written references including journals , studies or report s as part o f the submission of the applicant, stakeholder or interested party.
  2. Where a written reference is provided under subregulation (6a.), the text shall not be read word for word but highlights may be given to develop a point.
  3. Any journal, study or report submitted under subregulation (6a.) shall form part of the record of the proceedings of a public hearing.

7.  Closing response by applicant.

  1. The applicant shall, before the close of a public hearing, be given an opportunity to:
    1. answer questions raised during the hearing;
    2. clarify on or correct any issue or matter raised during the hearing; and
    3. conclude his or her case on the application.

8.  Overview of public hearing

At the conclusion of a public hearing, the Authority shall, for the benefit of the public, present an overview of the proceedings, including presentations and responses made during the hearing, but may not make decisions.

9.  Adjournment.

  1. The Authority may, on its own motion or on the application of the applicant, a stakeholder or interested person, adjourn a public hearing to a specified date.
  2. Where the hearing is adjourned for more than four weeks, the Authority shall, at least two days before the date on which the hearing is to be resumed, communicate to the public through the media , the date, time and venue of the hearing.

10.  Media coverage.

  1. The Authority may permit the media to cover a public hearing or part of a hearing, but interviews of the participants or members of the Authority shall not be conducted at the public hearing during the proceedings of the hearing.
  2. During the recording of the proceedings, interruptions by journalists shall not be allowed and the Authority may restrict the recording of all or any part of the hearing if the Authority finds that the recording may disrupt the hearing.
  3. Members of the press may, with the perrmission of the Chairperson of the public hearing, ask any person making a presentation at the hearing to make any clarification on his or her presentation and such a question  or request shall be short, clear and to the point.

11. Decision on application by Authority

The Authority shall make a decision on the application within a reasonable period after the close of the hearing.

12.  Report of public hearing.

  1. The Authority shall, within a reasonable period after the close of the hearing, make a full report of the public hearing which shall include:
    1. all the relevant views presented;
    2. factual findings; and
    3. the decision of the Authority on the application.
  2. A list of all persons, bodies, institutions and organisations that made contributions and presentations and all persons that attended the public hearing shall be attached to the report.
  3. The report of the public hearing shall be open for inspection at the offices of the Authority during office hours and copies may be made available to any person at a fee prescribed by the Authority.
  4. A public hearing shall not be re-opened after a report is issued by the Anthority

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 January 2014 06:11