96. Investigations by commission. 1. The commission may of its own motion investigate or make inquiry in a manner to be determined by it as to any act done or omitted to be done by any telegraph corporation or telephone corporation and the commission must make such inquiry in regard to any act done or omitted to be done by any telegraph corporation or telephone corporation in violation of any provisions of law or in violation of any order of the commission.
2. The commission may of its own motion or upon complaint of any person or corporation aggrieved investigate and determine whether the property of any corporation or person actually used within the state in the business of affording telephonic communication for hire is of a value exceeding ten thousand dollars.
3. Complaints may be made to the commission by the department of state or by any person or corporation aggrieved, by petition or complaint in writing, setting forth any act done or omitted to be done by any telegraph corporation or telephone corporation alleged to be in violation of the terms or conditions of its franchise or charter or of any order of the commission. Upon the presentation of such a complaint the commission shall cause a copy thereof to be forwarded to the person or corporation complained of which may be accompanied by an order directed to such person or corporation requiring that the matters complained of be satisfied or that the charges be answered in writing within a time to be specified by the commission. If the person or corporation complained of shall make reparation for any injury alleged and shall cease to commit or permit the violation of law, franchise, charter or order charged in the complaint, if any there be, and shall notify the commission of that fact before the time allowed for answer, the commission need take no further action upon the charges. If, however, the charges contained in such petition be not thus satisfied and it shall appear to the commission that there are reasonable grounds therefor, it shall investigate such charges in such manner and by such means as it shall deem proper and take such action within its powers as the facts in its judgment justify.
4. Whenever the commission shall investigate any matter complained of by any person or corporation aggrieved by any act or omission of a telegraph corporation or telephone corporation under this section, it shall be its duty within sixty days after final submission to make and file an order either dismissing the petition or complaint or directing the telegraph corporation or telephone corporation complained of to satisfy the cause of complaint in whole or to the extent which the commission may specify and require.
6. a. The commission shall have power to provide for a management and operations audit of any telephone corporation. The commission shall have discretion to have such audits performed by its staff or by independent auditors.
b. In every case in which the commission chooses to have the audit provided for in this subdivision performed by independent auditors, it shall have authority to select the auditors, and to require the corporation being audited to enter into a contract with the auditors providing for their payment by such corporation. Such contract shall provide further that the auditors shall work for and under the direction of the commission according to such terms as the commission may determine are necessary and reasonable. The commission shall not enter into any such contract with an auditor who shall have contracted with the corporation being audited within the last two years and shall require, within the terms of the contract, that such auditor will not contract with the corporation being audited until at least two years have elapsed from the date such audit was completed.
c. The commission shall have authority to direct the company to implement any recommendations resulting from such audits that it finds to be necessary and reasonable and shall commence the first audit on or before the one hundred twentieth day after the date on which this subdivision shall have become a law.
d. Upon the application of a telephone corporation for a major change in rates as defined in subdivision two of section ninety-two of this chapter, the commission shall review that corporation's compliance with the directions and recommendations made previously by the commission, as a result of the most recently completed management and operations audit. The commission shall incorporate the findings of such review in its opinion or order.
Last modified: September 11, 2016