PSC hears debate today over disclosing executive salaries
Today the Public Service Commission will decide whether to force Florida Power & Light and Progress Energy to disclose how much they pay their executives in salaries, bonuses and stock options in what has become the first firefight of the controversial rate case.
On one side is PSC Commissioner Nancy Argenziano, and the PSC staff, who say that despite the claims by the two companies, they have not supplied the requested information to the commission. Argenziano asked for the total compensation of all employees earning more than $165,000 and also claims that the salary data should not be kept secret in the confidential section of the pending rate case, but be made public.
On the other side are the utility companies. FPL repeated its argument in a letter to PSC Commissioner Matthew Carter. In a nutshell, they argue: the PSC already has the salary data. (FPL provided them with the "average compensation by job role," then gave them a "key" to look at a Tallahassee law firm that would allow them to discern which execs got which salaries, and in their federal securities filings disclose detailed compensation data for FPL's top officers by name.) But the company shouldn't have to disclose more because that would constitute a trade secret, force them to lose highly trained personnel and increase rates to customers. Download OliveraLettertoPSC
Argenziano's assistant wrote a letter to the PSC staff, saying that her office has contacted the Florida Municipal Power Association and the Florida Electric Cooperatives Association. The eletric coop said it reports its information to federal regulators as required, and the municipal power group said it discloses its salaries upon request. The memo said their staff is often lured away from them because of "the much higher compensation levels paid by the IOUs, with which their member entities could not compete." Download Cole salary memo and the update: Download Electric coop clarification