Appearing as a Public Witness Before
The Georgia Public Service Commission
A public witness is an individual (representing himself/herself
or an entity) who does not make a formal request to intervene in
a proceeding before the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC
or Commission), but wishes to make comments that become a part
of the official transcript of the case.
a public witness in a case before the Commission can be pretty
daunting to some people. The hearing room is set up like a
courtroom. Proceedings are conducted in a manner similar to
cases heard in a court. There are five commissioners (who serve
in a capacity likened to judges), staff attorneys (who represent
staff’s interest) and intervenors (parties of record who have an
interest in the case) and the utility company. Testimony is
given by witnesses on behalf of staff, intervenors and the
company, as well as by public witnesses. At the scheduled
Administrative Session, the Commissioners make a decision based
upon the evidence that was presented during the hearing.
are some tips to make your experience as a public witness as
simple as possible. Depending upon the number of people who
sign up to speak as public witnesses, the amount of time
allotted for individual comments may be limited.
Write your comments on a piece of paper. Doing so will help
keep you focused on the key points you wish to make when
addressing the Commission.
you prefer to have your written comments entered into the
record as though read, you may make the request during the
hearing in the event you are unable to complete your
testimony or if you decide that you would rather not make a
Bring an extra copy of any testimony or handouts you wish to
be entered into the official record.
Arrive about 30 minutes before the hearing begins to give
yourself time to settle down, sign-in to speak, and to
become familiar with your surroundings.
should begin your testimony by stating your name and the
name of the organization you represent, if applicable. When
speaking, look at the Commissioners.
sure you speak clearly and loudly into the microphone –
adjust the microphone if necessary.
your comments to matters that are relevant to the case before
- If someone makes a point you wanted to make, rather than
repeating it, you may make a statement similar to, “I agree with
Mr. Jones’ statement regarding _____,” and then make your other
of the amount time you’ve been given to make your comments. In
order to insure that all public witnesses have an opportunity to
be heard, please conclude your comments within the allotted time
or when requested to do so.
your presentation with a statement that indicates you have
nothing further to say, such as: “Thank you for your time
today.” or “That concludes my comments.” This way, the
Commission will be sure that you have finished speaking and were
not merely pausing.
information, contact us at:
244 Washington Street, SW
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
1-800-282-5813 (outside metro-Atlanta), press 2
404-656-4501 (local), press 2