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PDFWAC 480-07-140

General requirements for submitting documents to the commission.

(1) General.
(a) Informal submissions. Informal submissions are oral or written comments or communications directed to the commission that do not seek, or respond to, formal commission action, are not required by statute or commission rule, and generally are not filed in a docket. Informal submissions include, but are not limited to, consumer complaints other than complaints requesting commencement of an adjudicative proceeding, and public comments made on matters the commission considers at an open public meeting or in an adjudication when submitted by persons who are not, and do not seek to be, parties to that adjudication. A person may make informal submissions by using the comment form available on the commission's website or by contacting the commission records center or consumer protection section by telephone, letter, or email at the contact information listed in WAC 480-07-125.
(b) Formal filings. Formal filings are written submissions that seek or respond to formal commission action or are required by statute or commission rule and that the commission may file in a docket. Unless otherwise provided in this chapter, all documents submitted to the commission for formal filing, including documents that contain confidential information, must be submitted electronically to the commission records center in conformance with this rule. The commission will not accept a document for formal filing unless the commission receives that document in electronic form.
(2) Where to send written communications. Persons should send written communications to the commission using the contact information contained in WAC 480-07-125 or on the commission's website. Correspondence directed to the commission should be addressed to the commission secretary.
(3) Cover letters. Persons submitting documents to the commission for formal filing must include a cover letter with the submission unless the sole document submitted is a letter or the document is one page in length and includes the information identified in subsection (4) of this section.
(4) Requirements. The following requirements enable the commission to identify submissions and to facilitate prompt delivery of communications to commission personnel.
(a) Identification of sender. All persons who communicate with the commission should provide their full name, mailing address, telephone number, and email address to assist the commission in responding. Persons who communicate with the commission on behalf of a business, organization, or other entity must state their name and title or position, and the name of the entity on whose behalf they are sending the communication. All submissions on behalf of a company the commission regulates must identify the company using the exact name of the company in the commission's records. The commission's website includes a list of all such companies by the names in the commission's records. The commission may reject or require resubmission of any submission that does not comply with this requirement.
(b) Identification of permit, license, or certificate. Any person or entity holding a commission-issued permit, license, or certificate must identify the permit, license, or certificate number (if any), including the exact name under which the authority is held, when communicating with the commission concerning the permit, license, or certificate.
(c) Identification of proceeding. Persons who communicate with the commission concerning a formal commission proceeding (e.g., rule-making or adjudication) must identify the proceeding to the best of their ability, including the docket number and name of the proceeding.
(d) Identification of documents. All documents submitted to the commission must be named in conformance with subsection (6)(b) of this section.
(5) Electronic submission of documents. The commission accepts only electronic versions of documents for formal filing. Unless required in a specific rule or order, the commission does not require a paper copy of the document.
(a) Electronic submission via web portal. Documents submitted electronically must be submitted using the commission's records center web portal except as provided in this rule.
(i) How to use the web portal. To use the web portal to submit documents for filing, persons should navigate to, and follow the instructions on, the web portal at the address specified in WAC 480-07-125.
(ii) Official commission receipt. The commission officially receives a document submitted through the web portal on the date and at the time registered by the portal; provided that documents the commission receives after 5:00 p.m. are not considered officially received or filed until the next business day. The web portal will send an automated notification to the person submitting the document when the commission has received the document.
(iii) Insufficient capacity. If a submission exceeds the size limitations of the commission's web portal for a single submission, the person may submit the documents in multiple web portal submissions, via one or more emails as provided in subsection (6)(c) of this section, or on a disc or other commonly used electronic storage medium delivered by mail or hand delivery. The commission includes on its website the current size limitation of submissions on the web portal and instructions for making multiple web portal submissions.
(b) Electronic submission via email. If a person is unable to use the web portal to submit documents for filing, the commission will accept a submission via email. The commission may also accept correspondence or comments directed to the commission in the form of an email. An email transmitting documents must explain the reason the documents are not being submitted via the web portal and must comply with the following requirements:
(i) Where to send electronic documents. Emails and emailed submissions for filing must be directed to the commission's records center at the email address specified in WAC 480-07-125. Courtesy or informational copies may be sent to other email addresses for individual commission personnel. The commission will receive for filing only email submissions sent to the records center.
(ii) When deemed received. An email and any transmitted documents are deemed received only when the email and the entire document or set of documents successfully reach the commission's records center electronic mailbox. Emails or documents wholly or partly received by email in the commission's records center after 5:00 p.m. are not considered officially received or filed until the next business day.
(iii) Insufficient capacity. If a submission exceeds the size limitations of the commission's email system for a single message, the person may submit the documents in multiple messages as provided in subsection (6)(c) of this section or on a disc or other commonly used electronic storage medium delivered via mail or hand delivery. The commission includes on its website the current size limitation of a single email.
(c) Electronic submission by mail or hand delivery. A person may submit for filing electronic copies of documents on a disc or other commonly used electronic storage medium by mail or hand delivery (e.g., courier delivery service) to the commission's business address. The commission deems it has received an electronic document submitted by mail or hand delivery when the commission's records center physically receives it. Documents delivered to the commission's records center after 5:00 p.m. are not considered officially received or filed until the next business day.
(d) Additional requirements. The following additional requirements apply when submitting documents in the circumstances identified below.
Submissions in these dockets or types of documents:
Must comply with these rules and:
Rule-making dockets
Part II of this chapter
Adjudicative dockets
Part III of this chapter, plus any requirements in the specific adjudication
Utility tariffs and contracts
Chapter 480-80 WAC and WAC 480-07-141
Transportation tariffs and time schedules
WAC 480-07-141; and
(a) For auto transportation companies
(a) Chapter 480-30 WAC;
(b) For commercial ferry companies
(b) Chapters 480-51 and 480-149 WAC;
(c) For solid waste collection companies
(c) Chapter 480-70 WAC
(d) For marine pilotage services
(d) Chapter 480-160 WAC
For public records requests
Chapters 42.56 RCW and 480-04 WAC
(6) Electronic file format requirements. Electronic versions of all documents filed with the commission must conform to the following file format requirements.
(a) Acceptable format.
(i) All documents other than spreadsheets as described in (a)(ii) of this subsection and email correspondence or comments must be filed in searchable .pdf (adobe acrobat or comparable software) format and to the extent feasible should be saved or otherwise converted directly from the native format in which the document was created. Parties that cannot create .pdf files directly from the document in its native format must provide a copy of the document converted to .pdf via scanning or other available technology. Scanned documents must be searchable unless readily available software does not support searchable scanned documents.
(ii) Any document in the form of a spreadsheet that displays results of calculations based on formulas must be filed in its native Excel format (.xlsx) or the updated version of, or successor to, that software program. The commission will accept spreadsheets created using a different software program only if the commission has a license to use that program and personnel who know how to use it. Spreadsheets must include all formulas and may not include locked, password protected, or hidden cells or tabs, or any other restrictions that impair or hamper the commission's ability to review or modify the data in those cells.
(iii) Correspondence or comments in the form of an email must conform to generally accepted conventions for email communications.
(b) File naming conventions. Documents must be named in a way that describes the contents. Each document a person submits must be labeled with the docket number of the proceeding (except in the case of original submissions), any confidentiality designation, the name of the document, the name of the person or party on whose behalf the document is submitted, the last name of any witness sponsoring the document, and the date the document is submitted. The prefix to the docket number (e.g., UE-, TG-, etc.) may be omitted, and words may be abbreviated as necessary in the file name of an electronic document if the full name is too long. The cover letter accompanying the submission must list all of the documents included in the submission using the same identifying information. The commission maintains a sample list of acceptable file names and abbreviations on its website.
(c) Acceptable organization. Except as provided in WAC 480-07-160 when submitting documents that include information designated as confidential, highly confidential, or exempt, all files required to meet a single deadline must be submitted at the same time and in the same message, if possible, or on the same disc or commonly used electronic storage medium. A person may submit files in more than one submission or message when submitting those files via the commission's web portal or via email as authorized in subsection (5)(a)(iii) and (b)(iii) of this section if the total size of the submission exceeds the size constraints of the commission's web portal or email system for a single submission. If the documents are submitted in multiple email messages, each email message must prominently identify which one it is in the sequence of messages and, to the extent possible, the total number of messages used (e.g., "Message 2 of 4"). The first and final messages in the sequence must be identified as such. The first message also must explain the reason for the multiple messages and must include the cover letter and any required certificate of service. All such messages must be submitted as close to simultaneously as practicable.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 80.01.040, 80.04.160, 81.116.020, and 81.116.900. WSR 19-11-012 (Docket TP-180402, General Order R-596), § 480-07-140, filed 5/3/19, effective 6/3/19. Statutory Authority: RCW 80.01.040 and 80.04.160. WSR 17-06-051 (General Order R-588), § 480-07-140, filed 2/28/17, effective 3/31/17; WSR 08-18-012 (Docket A-072162, General Order R-550), § 480-07-140, filed 8/22/08, effective 9/22/08; WSR 06-16-053 (Docket A-050802, General Order R-536), § 480-07-140, filed 7/27/06, effective 8/27/06; WSR 03-24-028 (General Order R-510, Docket No. A-010648), § 480-07-140, filed 11/24/03, effective 1/1/04.]
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