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Texas RE Enforcement resolves issues pertaining to the NERC Reliability Standards in a fair, accurate, reasonable, and consistent manner. Texas RE uses a number of methods for resolving noncompliance depending on the facts and circumstances, as well as the degree of risk posed to the Bulk Electric System. Enforcement staff also ensures that noncompliance issues are properly mitigated to address the reliability risk and prevent future recurrence.

Potential noncompliance may be self-identified by registered entities through a Self-Report, Self-Log, and Self-Certification submission, or by Periodic Data submittals. Potential noncompliance may also be discovered by Texas RE during a Compliance Audit, Spot Check, or the course of a Compliance Investigation.

Texas RE strongly encourages NERC registered entities to submit Self-Reports based on preliminary information in a timely manner, typically within three months of discovery, and provide comprehensive information to Enforcement as it becomes known. Further, if the registered entity is unsure whether it is in violation of a Reliability Standard, it is best practice to contact Enforcement for a preliminary discussion.

If a registered entity identifies potential noncompliance of a NERC Reliability Standard applicable to its registered function(s) during a self-assessment or other internal review, the registered entity should submit a Self-Report for the potential noncompliance via webCDMS. Providing adequate and accurate information in a Self-Report allows efficient and timely resolution of instances of noncompliance.

Please refer to the Registered Entity Self-Report and Mitigation Plan User Guide regarding the format, contents, and process for submitting a Self-Report.

The self-logging program permits registered entities that possess sufficient internal controls to maintain a self-logging spreadsheet for eligible minimal risk noncompliance issues. Registered entities submit their noncompliance logs to Texas RE quarterly. There is a presumption that these self-logged, minimal risk noncompliance issues will be resolved as Compliance Exceptions.

To determine a registered entity’s eligibility to self-log, Texas RE conducts a formal review of the registered entity’s internal controls. To participate in the self-logging program, the registered entity must demonstrate that it has sufficiently institutionalized processes in place to identify, assess, and correct operational risks to reliability. The details regarding the evaluation process for these internal controls are described in the ERO Enterprise Self-Logging Program Document.

To be evaluated for self-logging, a registered entity should complete the Self-Logging Program Participation Request.

Documents

All instances of noncompliance with a NERC Reliability Standard require the submission of appropriate mitigating activities for evaluation and acceptance by Texas RE and NERC. To demonstrate appropriate mitigation, registered entities either file a formal Mitigation Plan or a description of the mitigation actions taken to remediate the issue and prevent recurrence.

If a registered entity intends to submit a Mitigation Plan, contact Enforcement staff at enforcement@texasre.org to discuss a proposed plan prior to submission of a Mitigation Plan in webCDMS.

Prior to contacting Enforcement staff, the entity should develop a comprehensive and effective Mitigation Plan in webCDMS, and select SAVE, rather than SUBMIT.

For detailed information regarding the process for developing and submitting formal Mitigation Plans, as well as Texas RE’s review of such plans, please refer to the Mitigation Plan section in NERC's Appendix 4C to the Rules of Procedure and NERC's Registered Entity Self-Report and Mitigation Plan User Guide.

A registered entity may request settlement negotiations with Texas RE at any time up to the point when a violation is filed with NERC. Settlement requests are made through webCDMS. Once a registered entity requests settlement, Texas RE confirms settlement discussions via webCDMS.

An entity registered with NERC may choose to contest a finding of Alleged Violation, a proposed penalty or sanction, a proposed Mitigation Plan, or a proposed Remedial Action Directive, in accordance with the NERC Rules of Procedure, Appendix 4C, Attachment 2.

A list of all posted noncompliance records pertaining to the NERC Reliability Standards is available at NERC Enforcement and Mitigation.

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