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Deregulation, competition, and industry restructuring are changing the production and delivery of electric power in the United States, both for investor-owned and municipally owned utilities. The largest U.S. municipal utility, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP), asked RAND to consider possible changes in governance that could improve its decisionmaking and operations while maintaining public ownership. The authors found that the DWP would benefit from simplification and streamlining, whether or not the city's electricity market is opened to competition, which many business, labor, and government stakeholders view as inevitable. The report delineates three governance options for DWP: a city-owned corporation, an independent city agency with a strong governing board, and modifications of the existing departmental structure. While the final decision is up to the Los Angeles city council and ultimately the voters, this report is intended to stimulate informed public discussion and debate.

Table of Contents

  • Preface PDF

  • Tables PDF

  • Summary PDF

  • Acknowledgements

    Acknowledgments PDF

  • Acronyms

    Acronyms and Abbreviations PDF

  • Chapter One

    Introduction PDF

  • Chapter Two

    The Current DWP Governance Structure PDF

  • Chapter Three

    Decisionmaking and Operational Problems Under the Current Structure PDF

  • Chapter Four

    Other Governance Models for Municipal Utilties PDF

  • Chapter Five

    Governance Options for DWP PDF

  • Chapter Six

    What Comes Next? PDF

  • Appendix

    A Brief History of DWP PDF

  • Endnotes PDF

  • Bibliography PDF

The research described in this report was performed under the auspices of RAND Enterprise Analysis.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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