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Filer Frequently Asked Questions


What are the standards referred to in the Electronic Filing Rules § 22.71 and § 22.72

The standards governing both hardcopy and electronic submissions are detailed in PUC Procedural Rules § 22.71 and § 22.72.

These standards are necessary for two reasons. The first is to ensure that one copy of the paper document can be readily processed through the high-speed scanner. Reducing the time required for document preparation will speed the capture process, making the documents available sooner. The second is to ensure substantial consistency between the paper documents, scanned image files, and the corresponding electronic documents in native file format.

Briefly the hard copy standards are:
Pages should be 8.5" X 11"
One copy filed with no permanent binding, staples, tabs, or separators
If a document has five or more headings and/or subheadings, it shall have a table of contents that lists the major sections of the document.
Documents must have consecutively numbered pages.
Oversized documents are filed as referenced attachments.
Other documents that cannot be filed in electronic format are filed as referenced addenda.

The first two requirements are necessary to speed the scanning process.
The next two are necessary to permit on-line navigation of the document images.
Oversized documents cannot be scanned or viewed cost effectively, they will be retained in hardcopy
The last requirement is necessary to enable the system to accommodate third-party paper documents that cannot be integrated into the electronic filing.

Do I have to use the PUC Filer to make electronic Filings?

Yes, the Filer compresses all the documents you wish to submit into a single proprietary format that will be processed at the PUC by a program called Interchange Check-in. Documents cannot be sent via Internet FTP without using Filer. Unless diskettes are submitted using Filer, their contents cannot be processed into the Interchange.

What operating systems will the PUC Filer software run on?

Windows XP / Vista / 7

Windows XP users will need local "Power Users" or "Administrators" group rights to their local machine to install this program.

Windows Vista and Windows 7 users will need "Local Administrators" group rights to install this program.

Once the application is installed, if User Access Control (UAC) is enabled, then local Administrator rights are required. If UAC is disabled, then only local Users rights are required. PUC Filer has a program called System Analyzer to check for updates each time the application is launched. This update triggers the UAC prompt for permission. Unless the user is a local administrator, UAC will prevent the application from launching.

Additionally, Windows Vista and Windows 7 users will be able to upload documents from their local drive (C or D Drive) but in order for users to upload documents from mapped network drives, User Account Control (UAC) must be disabled.

How do I get help?

PUC Filer has on-line help files. You may send email with help questions directly to helpdesk@puc.texas.gov.

What is a Control Number?

The Control Number is a sequential number given to every case against which filings are made at the PUC. Often referred to as "docket" numbers, they are used to reference not only dockets, but tariffs, and projects as well. Control Number is the generic reference to the sequential number assigned to each case filed at the PUC.

Who is the Filing Party?

The Filing Party indicated in Filer should be the party on behalf of whom a filing is made, not necessarily the individual or firm submitting the filing. Typically it will be a regulated entity, party to a case, or other interested party.

What should the Table of Contents look like?

The Table of Contents should appear as close to the beginning of a filing as possible and should contain the information necessary for a reader to find information contained in the pages of the filing. It should also reference the names of the electronic files containing the information associated with the referenced pages. The form for a table of contents is not prescribed, however listed below is an example of a useful format a table of contents:


DOCKET NO. 12345

APPLICATION OF A UTILITY § PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION
FOR A CERTIFICATE OF CONVENIENCE §
AND NECESSITY FOR A TRANSMISSION § OF TEXAS
LINE IN A COUNTY §

Proposed Order

__________________________________________________

Table of Contents

Section Page File Name
Procedural History 1 17488po1.doc
Discussion 13 17488po1.doc
Contested Issues 19 17488ci.doc
Environmental Impact 24 17488ei.doc
Schedule A 29 17488sch.xls
Schedule B 30 7488sch.xls
Schematic 33 17488ss.cad
Map 36 Addendum A (Paper only)
Pole Diagram 37 Addendum B (Paper only)

Each transmission should contain only the files and information for a single filing. This may include as many electronic files as necessary and may require more than one CD, but should concern only one specific filing.

What if I have to submit more files than will fit on a CD?

The Filer will determine the number of CDs required to submit a large filing, indicate the number of CDs required, and prompt the user to insert each CD as needed.

What file types can I submit (accepted formats)?

The PUC Interchange supports most common file types for word processors, spreadsheets, graphics and other programs, but not all possible file types. For instance, files requiring special applications such as database files are not currently supported. A list of preferred file types will be displayed by Filer every time a file is submitted with an unknown filename extension. A list of currently supported file types is displayed below:

Accepted File Formats:  
AutoCAD PCX
Bitmap PDF (Portable Document Format)
HTML Plain Text (ASCII)
JPEG PPT (Power Point)
Lotus 1-2-3 (Windows or DOS) Quatro Pro (Windows or DOS)
MS Excel TIFF
MS Rich Text Format WordPerfect (Windows or DOS)
MS Windows Write WordStar (Windows or DOS)
MS Works WPG (Word Perfect)
MS Word (Windows or DOS) Zip Archive

What about material that is not in electronic form?

Materials that cannot be submitted electronically, but which makes up part of the paper filing should be reference in the electronic document. The PUC will process all the pages of the paper filing through a high-speed scanner and make the images available in Text Searchable PDF format. All these materials, called "non-native attachments" in the electronic filing rule should appear at the end of the paper filing if possible with the start page indicated in the SPECIFY ADDENDUM screen of filer.

Do I need to compress large files?

No, all the documents you submit will be compressed into a single file in a proprietary format, so prior compression is unnecessary. Do not compress files that you intend to submit electronically.

Can I send a test filing over the Internet, just to see if FTP works?

Yes, you may send a test filing via Internet FTP. Until the Filing clerk runs Interchange Check-in and enters the tracking code, the files you sent will reside in a holding area. Unless processed by the Filing Clerk using Interchange Check-in, the files will not be moved from the holding area. Files which are sent over the Internet, but for which no paper copy is submitted, are considered "orphaned" files and will be periodically purged from the holding area.

Does the electronic copy have to be filed before the paper copy?

In the case of Internet transfer, the electronic filing must precede the paper copy so that it can be retrieved for processing by the Filing Clerk when the paper copy is file-stamped. Diskettes containing electronic documents should be filed at the same time as the paper copies.

What is the Tracking Sheet?

The Tracking Sheet is a printed page produced by Filer through your printer. It contains the basic filing information you entered in the Filer - including the Tracking Code. This code is essential for the Filing Clerk to retrieve the files sent over the Internet. It is also useful as a reference if you label diskette(s) with this number, should they ever become separated from the paper copy at filing. Tracking Sheets are not retained after the filing is completed.

What happens if I want to change something after sending the electronic filing?

Until the Tracking Sheet arrives, FTP transfers are not processed, so you may resend as many times as necessary until you submit the Tracking Sheet with the paper copy and the Filing Clerk runs the PUC Check-in program to process the filing. If you need to make a change after your files have been processed, please notify Central Records or 512-936-7180.

I tried sending my filing over the Internet and encountered an FTP error.

The most common cause of this problem is the absence of an active Internet connection. Make sure you have access to the Internet directly from your PC. Because the Filer includes a hidden program called an FTP Client, it is not necessary for you to run a browser or FTP program to send filings, but you must have access to the Internet active on your computer. If your system has a special security feature called a Firewall, it may need to be configured to permit you to FTP directly to our site. If you have a problem with Firewall security and using the Filer, first contact your information systems support personnel. If they are unable to resolve the problem, contact helpdesk@puc.texas.gov

Why is one copy required to be filed with no staples or permanent binding?

This is necessary to maintain the optimum processing rate for the PUC scanning operations to deliver document images as quickly as possible to the Interchange.

Will the number of required paper copies be reduced?

Yes, the copies required for internal distribution will eventually be reduced as internal processes begin to revolve around the electronic documents at the agency. Our objective is to reduce the requirements as much and as soon as possible. Because no standard is yet approved to support digital signatures, and because the court system still requires appeal copies on paper, there are a minimum number of paper copies that will be required for the foreseeable future.

How can the pages of voluminous or complex filings be consecutively numbered?

Consecutive page numbering is necessary to assure scanning accuracy and a great assistance in using the document images on-line. However, for very large filings, often assembled at different times or locations, this requirement is impractical. In adopting the electronic filing rule, the Commission indicated in its preamble that these types of filings may best be numbered within the logical sequence of volumes or sections that make up the filing and need not be renumbered to maintain the same page numbering sequence throughout the entire filing.