The Manitoba Public Utilities Board (Board) must by law be composed of not less than three members with only the chairperson acting as a full-time member. Board members do not have fixed terms.
All members are appointed by the Manitoba Lieutenant Governor, by recommendation of the Premier, and serve at his or her pleasure.
The Lieutenant Governor appoints both a chair and a vice-chair for the Board. The chair appoints the members of the Board to various panels tasked with overseeing various matters before the Board. The chair also evaluates the conduct of other Board members. The chair has similar authority to that of a justice of the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench or as the deputy minister for the Manitoba Department of Justice. The vice-chair can assume these duties and responsibilities in the absence of the chair or in the event that the chair is incapacitatedand unable to perform his or her duties.
Board members serve as members of panels, usually comprised of two to five members for each panel to address the matter before the Board. Two members constitute a quorum. Members are responsible for carrying out the Board's legislative mandate. All members, including the chair and vice-chair, are subject to a detailed code of professional and ethical responsibilities.
The Board is comprised of a full-time staff of approximately seven people. The team is led by the Executive Director who also acts as Board Secretary and is the primary public spokesperson for the organization and oversees the overall daily operations of the PUB. The position of Board Secretary is established in statute. The Secretary is the Senior Permanent Civil Servant.The team of staff members is responsible for policy analysis, customer relations, public records and the daily case management of various portfolios. Board Staff maintain the overall long-term continuity and stability of the PUB's operations and act as in-house consultants to the Board.
The Board also engages a roster of external advisors in the legal, accounting and engineering professions. They provide cross-examination of witnesses before the tribunal, financial analysis and auditing, and expertise on utility practices. They are an integral part of the rate application process.