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§4-10-5. Powers and duties of the committee and joint standing committee.

(a) To carry out the duties set forth in this article, the committee or the joint standing committee, any authorized employee of the committee, the joint standing committee, the Legislative Auditor or any employee of the division working at the direction of the committee or the joint standing committee, shall have access, including copying, to all records of every state agency in West Virginia.

(b) When furnishing information, agencies shall provide the information in the format in which it is requested, if the request is specific as to a preferred format.

(c) The committee or the joint standing committee may hold public hearings in furtherance of the purposes of this article, at such times and places within the state as desired. A member of the committee or the joint standing committee may administer oaths to persons testifying at such hearings or meetings.

(d) The committee or the joint standing committee may issue a subpoena, with the signature of either cochair of the committee or the joint standing committee and served in the manner provided by law, to summon and compel the attendance of witnesses and their examination under oath and the production of all books, papers, documents and records necessary or convenient to be examined and used by the committee or joint standing committee in the performance of its duties.

(e) If any witness subpoenaed to appear at any hearing or meeting refuses or fails to appear or to answer questions put to him or her, or refuses or fails to produce books, papers, documents or records within his or her control when the same are demanded, the committee or the joint standing committee, in its discretion, may enforce obedience to its subpoena by attachment, fine or imprisonment, as provided in article one of this chapter, or may report the facts to the circuit court of Kanawha County or any other court of competent jurisdiction and the court shall compel obedience to the subpoena as though it had been issued by the court.

(f) Witnesses subpoenaed to attend hearings or meetings pursuant to the provisions of this article, except officers or employees of the state, shall be allowed the same mileage and per diem as is allowed witnesses before any petit jury.

(g) The committee or the joint standing committee, subject to the approval of the Joint Committee on Government and Finance, may employ such persons as it considers necessary to carry out the duties and responsibilities under this article and may contract for outside expertise in conducting reviews.

(h) The committee or the joint standing committee may collect, and the agency or regulatory board shall promptly pay, the costs associated with conducting the reviews performed under this article, upon presentation of a statement for the costs incurred. All money received by the committee or the joint standing committee from this source shall be expended only for the purpose of covering the costs associated with such services, unless otherwise directed by the Legislature.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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