As the California Public Utilities Commission steps forward into the 21st century, it is also taking a step back because of a loss of institutional memory. A draft report of a recent internal inquiry into improving the CPUC?s inner workings found near-unanimity in identifying institutional memory loss as a significant problem caused by the exit of experienced staff, primarily because of retirements. The problem is expected to worsen over the next five years unless there is massive retraining, according to the report. The survey of 147 managers and staff also found that ?none of the individuals was aware of any strategic plan for the future.? In addition, few respondents could articulate the commission?s mission. Other notable conclusions about issues undermining the commission?s effectiveness included the following:<ul><li>There is difficulty in staying abreast of industry knowledge.<\/li> <li>There is an inability to compete with the private sector due to failure to attract high-level employees with high salaries.<\/li> <li>While salaries are noncompetitive, many feel the opportunities to do societal good are worth the lack of pay.<li> <li>Large numbers of employees are viewed as doing substandard work.<\/li><\/ul>The draft suggested developing a two- to five-year strategic plan, including anticipating changes that could occur in technology and regulations. A review of organizational structure to eliminate duplication was also recommended.