At the July 11 Technical Conference on the upcoming EQR software changes, FERC described the two filing options that will be available for future filings beginning approximately Q3 2013.
The first filing option is a web browser-based platform that is intended to be functionally similar to the current FoxPro filing software. At the Technical Conference the following highlights were covered for the web browser-based option:
- As demonstrated in the screenshots included in the presentation provided below, the data fields are the same as the current filing system, but the contract and transaction data review capabilities are limited to a single line at a time – which may be more burdensome than the existing software.
- The contact, contracts and transaction data can be hand entered or uploaded using CSV or XML formats through one or multiple files similar to the current filing system.
- No software will need to be downloaded and a Windows-based computer will no longer be required.
- The data will be validated before the submittal stage, however, it is unclear (i) how thorough the pre-submission validation checks will be; (ii) how the validation error messages will be provided; and (iii) whether they will include links to the applicable data to streamline the correction process.
The second option is an XML filing platform similar to the current eTariff filing system. FERC Staff implied that the XML option would provide greater flexibility for data review and validation. At the Technical Conference the following highlights were covered for the XML option:
- The XML schema is going to have built-in validations (unlike eTariff).
- A separate XML schema will be provided for look-up values (unlike eTariff).
- FERC will offer a Sandbox for pre-submission validation (similar to eTariff).
- The draft XML schemas will be available in the near future at www.FERC.gov.
In addition to these two filing options, FERC Staff also provided an overview of the new web viewer that will be available to the public to access previously filed data. Screenshots of the new viewer are available at the FERC Presentation link provided below. The ability to file single EQRs for multiple companies was discussed, and FERC Staff indicated that the new system would not differ from the current system in this regard. FERC Staff declined to give an update on the timing of the other EQR NOPRs related to the data dictionary changes and the collection of eTag data.