In the August 4, 2023, weekly announcement, the Program Administrator reminded Approved Vendors of the upcoming September 1, 2023, deadline to have in place Designee Management Plans. Beginning September 1, 2023, Approved Vendors and their Designees are expected to act in accordance with Designee Management Plans. This requirement is outlined in Section X.B.1 of the Consumer Protection Handbook, which includes details on required plan content. The August 4, 2023, Consumer Protection Working Group meeting included discussion on the Designee Management Plan requirement. In response to questions raised during the meeting, the Agency and Program Administrator provide the following reminders and supplemental information:
- Designee Signatures Not Required – Approved Vendors need not have their Designees sign the Designee Management Plans. The Designee Management Plan should summarize, in one document, the various processes, agreements, and other mechanisms that Approved Vendors use to manage their Designees. The Designee Management Plan may therefore reference or reflect contractual provisions, but the Plan itself need not be signed by the Designee. For example, a Designee Management Plan might state that an element of the Plan is satisfied through a contractual agreement with Designees, with a summary of relevant provisions.
- Plans Required for All Current Designees – While Designee Management Plans are a new Program requirement, an Approved Vendor must have a Plan for all existing Designees with whom they work, and not simply for future Designees. Given this new Plan requirement was proposed in the Fall of 2022 (in a request for stakeholder feedback to proposed edits to the Consumer Protection Handbook) and the Illinois Power Agency provided Program participants in April 2023 with the final edits to the Handbook (including the Designee Management Plan requirement), Program participants have had ample notice of this new Program requirement. Furthermore, the Program Administrator notes that since the creation of the Designee designation, Approved Vendors have been responsible for managing Designees and ensuring Designee compliance with Program requirements. The Program Administrator therefore expects that Approved Vendors may already have processes or requirements that meet the elements of the Designee Management Plans.
- Process to Request Limited Exceptions – If an Approved Vendor is unable to meet a required element for the Designee Management Plan (as found in Section X.B.1 of the Consumer Protection Handbook), it may request an exemption from one (or more) elements from the Program Administrator. To do so, the Approved Vendor must submit a written request for limited exemption and include the following: (1) the specific criteria/criterion from which the Approved Vendor is seeking exemption; (2) the specific reason(s) for the requested exemption; (3) if approved, to which Designee(s) the exemption would apply, and (4) if approved, how long the exemption would last. Approved Vendors must submit an email to the Program Administrator at [email protected] with the above information no later than Friday, September 1, 2023, for consideration. Please title your email “Designee Management Plan: Limited Exemption Request.” The Program Administrator and Illinois Power Agency will review any such requests and respond as soon as practicable.
Please send any additional questions regarding this Program requirement to [email protected].
Illinois Shines Program