On occasion, the Legal Division conducts Department-initiated investigations that are neither a formal adjudication nor a rulemaking. This type of proceeding is called a Notice of Inquiry ("NOI"). The goal of the NOI is to encourage broad input in the development of public policy. The Department derives authority to issue a NOI from G.L. c. 164, § 76. Participants in an NOI proceeding file comments and may provide sworn testimony. However, participants are not cross-examined and do not have appeal rights. The order issued at the close of the investigation is usually a general policy statement with guidelines for future actions by utilities or by the Department. The policy established through the NOI may be further developed in the future through company-specific adjudications
This information is provided by the Department of Public Utilities
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