The Commission may refer any matter arising in the administration of this subchapter to a board to be composed of a member or members, as determined by the Commission, from the State or each of the States affected or to be affected by such matter. Any such board shall be vested with the same power and be subject to the same duties and liabilities as in the case of a member of the Commission when designated by the Commission to hold any hearings. The action of such board shall have such force and effect and its proceedings shall be conducted in such manner as the Commission shall by regulations prescribe. The board shall be appointed by the Commission from persons nominated by the State commission of each State affected or by the Governor of such State if there is no State commission. Each State affected shall be entitled to the same number of representatives on the board unless the nominating power of such State waives such right. The Commission shall have discretion to reject the nominee from any State, but shall thereupon invite a new nomination from that State. The members of a board shall receive such allowances for expenses as the Commission shall provide. The Commission may, when in its discretion sufficient reason exists therefor, revoke any reference to such a board.
The Commission may confer with any State commission regarding the relationship between rate structures, costs, accounts, charges, practices, classifications, and regulations of public utilities subject to the jurisdiction of such State commission and of the Commission; and the Commission is authorized, under such rules and regulations as it shall prescribe, to hold joint hearings with any State commission in connection with any matter with respect to which the Commission is authorized to act. The Commission is authorized in the administration of this chapter to avail itself of such cooperation, services, records, and facilities as may be afforded by any State commission.
The Commission shall make available to the several State commissions such information and reports as may be of assistance in State regulation of public utilities. Whenever the Commission can do so without prejudice to the efficient and proper conduct of its affairs, it may upon request from a State make available to such State as witnesses any of its trained rate, valuation, or other experts, subject to reimbursement to the Commission by such State of the compensation and traveling expenses of such witnesses. All sums collected hereunder shall be credited to the appropriation from which the amounts were expended in carrying out the provisions of this subsection.
(June 10, 1920, ch. 285, pt. II, §209, as added Aug. 26, 1935, ch. 687, title II, §213, 49 Stat. 853.)