In May 1988, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued General Order 156 (GO 156). Under GO 156, the CPUC required all investor-owned electric, gas, water and telecommunication utility companies with gross annual revenues in excess of $25 million (as well as their regulated subsidiaries and affiliates) to develop and implement programs to increase the utilization of WMBEs. The Supplier Clearinghouse was created.
Procurement goals of 5% for women business enterprises and 15% for minority business enterprises were initially established. GO 156 was later expanded to include a goal of 1.5% for California-based service-disabled veteran business enterprises and 0.5% for 2022, 1.0% for 2023 and 1.5% goal for 2024 and beyond for LGBT business enterprises. A goal for Persons with Disabilities business enterprises has not been established yet.
The certification process was designed with eligible suppliers in mind, making it easy for participating utilities to find and utilize WBEs, MBEs, DVBEs, LGBTBEs and PDBEs.
Today, The Supplier Clearinghouse continues to be a Commission-supervised entity whose primary purpose is to audit and verify the status of WMDVBEs/LGBTBEs on behalf of the individual utility companies. We maintain an accurate and reliable database of WMDVBE/LGBTBE-certified firms that is accessible to the CPUC and participating utilities for procurement-related outreach and opportunities.
The California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) regulates privately owned electric, natural gas, telecommunications, water, railroad, rail transit and passenger transportation companies, in addition to authorizing video franchises. Our five Governor-appointed Commissioners - as well as our staff - are dedicated to ensuring that consumers have safe, reliable utility service at reasonable rates, protecting against fraud and promoting the health and prosperity of California's economy.
The CPUC plays a key role in making California a national and international leader on a number of clean energy-related initiatives and policies designed to benefit consumers, the environment, and our nation's economy. The CPUC is also at the forefront of communications issues and has developed a Consumer Protection Initiative to empower consumers and prevent fraud in the rapidly changing telecommunications industry.
Information on all CPUC initiatives currently underway can be found at http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/PUC/#info.