Chairman, Michigan Public Service Commission, USA
Track D, Plenary Session 4
Orjiakor N. Isiogu was appointed to serve as Chairman of the Michigan Public Service Commission by Governor Jennifer M. Granholm on September 9, 2007. His term ends July 2, 2013.
Mr. Isiogu most recently served as the Director of the Telecommunications Division of the Michigan Public Service Commission since 2003. Prior to this, Mr. Isiogu was an Assistant Attorney General in the Special Litigation Division of the Michigan Attorney General's office, where Mr. Isiogu worked under three Attorneys General and served on the Litigation Advisory Board.
Mr. Isiogu is a member of the Michigan Highway Reciprocity Board, the Michigan Relay Center Advisory Board, the Emergency Telephone Services Committee, the Renewable Fuels Commission, and the Climate Action Council. In addition, he is a member of the Smart Grid Collaborative effort between FERC and NARUC.
Mr. Isiogu earned his law degree from Wayne State University Law School in Detroit, Michigan, and holds an undergraduate degree in political science from Wayne State University.
“The Value of an Independent and Impartial Regulator”
Background: Government regulation of private enterprise “affected with a public interest” dates to 1670. Experience has taught that to be effective, regulation must be conducted in a fair an unbiased manner by independent and impartial regulators.
Elements of Unbiased Regulation: The regulator must endeavor to balance the interest of the public and the regulated utility. The regulator must be bound by the law and observant of the property rights of the regulated entity. Due process includes notice and an opportunity to be heard by all interested parties. Hearings must be transparent and open to all for public scrutiny. Regulators should be knowledgeable in the technical, economic, financial, and legal aspects of regulation. The regulator must approach each case with an open mind and have no personal interest in the outcome of the proceeding.
Conclusion: To be fair and impartial, a regulator should strive to be autonomous, knowledgeable, highly ethical, free of conflicts of interest, observant of the rights of all interested persons, and bound by the law.