(a) All formal hearings before the Commission, a panel of three commissioners, a commissioner or an examiner shall be public, and shall be conducted in accordance with such rules as the Commission may prescribe. A full and complete record shall be kept of all proceedings on any formal hearing, and all testimony shall be taken by a reporter appointed by the Commission. Any party to a proceeding shall be entitled to a copy of the record or any part thereof upon the payment of the reasonable cost thereof as determined by the Commission.
(b) The Commission in its discretion may approve stenographic or mechanical methods of recording testimony, or a combination of such methods, and a transcript of any such record shall be valid for all purposes, subject to protest and settlement by the Commission.
(c) The Commission is authorized to provide daily transcripts of testimony in cases of substantial public interest and in other cases where time is an important factor to the parties involved.
(d) The Commission shall have authority to contract with or employ on a temporary basis, when deemed necessary by the chairman of the Commission, court reporters in addition to those employed on a full-time basis by the Commission, for the purpose of recording and transcribing testimony given at hearings before the Commission involving any Class A or B utility. The Commission is authorized to charge the cost of employing such court reporters directly to the involved utility or utilities. (1949, c. 989, s. 1; 1963, c. 1165, s. 1; 1975, c. 243, s. 9; 1981, c. 1022.)