The Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee confirmed this week it is working with the California Public Utilities Commission on a range of issues involving opening access to what has previously been deemed ?confidential? information. After being pressed by the committee, the CPUC in January agreed to open more information on utility power procurement to public scrutiny. According to a committee staffer, restrictions on the ability to review procurement data are symptomatic of a larger issue: the CPUC has ?absolute authority to make those calls on confidentiality.? With the commission, public discussion is the exception, not the rule, whereas the California Public Records Act makes public access the rule, with exceptions, asserted the staffer. The gag order on Pacific Gas & Electric?s bankruptcy settlement was cited as another problem with confidentiality rules. The question of whether legislation on confidentiality will be introduced will revolve around how much progress is made in working directly with the CPUC, said the staff member. The CPUC has stated that it plans to review its confidentiality procedures this year.