62-34. To investigate companies under its control; visitation and inspection.

(a) The Commission shall from time to time visit the places of business and investigate the books and papers of all public utilities to ascertain if all the orders, rules and regulations of the Commission have been complied with, and shall have full power and authority to examine all officers, agents and employees of such public utilities, and all other persons, under oath or otherwise, and to compel the production of papers and the attendance of witnesses to obtain the information necessary for carrying into effect and otherwise enforcing the provisions of this Chapter.

(b) Members of the Commission, Commission staff, and Public Staff may during all reasonable hours enter upon any premises occupied by any public utility, for the purpose of making the examinations and tests and exercising any power provided for in this Article, and may set up and use on such premises any apparatus and appliances necessary therefor. Such public utility shall have the right to be represented at the making of such examinations, tests and inspections.

(c) The Public Staff shall have the right to examine confidential information as defined in G.S. 132-1.2 in exercising any power or performing any duty authorized by this Chapter. The Public Staff shall not disclose confidential information except as authorized by (i) the person or entity having the right to assert confidentiality, (ii) the Commission, or (iii) a court of competent jurisdiction. Any information not designated in writing as confidential by the person or entity disclosing it to the Public Staff is subject to disclosure. Any dispute about whether information has been properly designated as confidential shall be determined by the Commission upon motion and response of interested parties. Information shall be considered confidential only to the extent provided by law. (1899, c. 164, s. 1; Rev., s. 1064; 1913, c. 127, ss. 1, 2, 7; 1917, c. 194; C.S., s. 1060; 1933, c. 134, s. 8; c. 307, s. 14; 1941, c. 97; 1963, c. 1165, s. 1; 1977, c. 468, s. 10; 2021-23, ss. 5, 24.)