Section 2. In addition to its other powers and duties, the commission shall have the following powers and duties:
(a) To conduct investigations at its discretion or upon the written request of the governor, the executive council, the general court or either of its branches, the administrator, an aggrieved person, or by ten persons registered to vote in the commonwealth.
(b) To hear and decide appeals by a person aggrieved by any decision, action, or failure to act by the administrator, except as limited by the provisions of section twenty-four relating to the grading of examinations; provided that no decision or action of the administrator shall be reversed or modified nor shall any action be ordered in the case of a failure of the administrator to act, except by an affirmative vote of at least three members of the commission, and in each such case the commission shall state in the minutes of its proceedings the specific reasons for its decision.
No person shall be deemed to be aggrieved under the provisions of this section unless such person has made specific allegations in writing that a decision, action, or failure to act on the part of the administrator was in violation of this chapter, the rules or basic merit principles promulgated thereunder and said allegations shall show that such person's rights were abridged, denied, or prejudiced in such a manner as to cause actual harm to the person's employment status.
Any person appealing a decision, action or failure to act of the administrator shall file a copy of the allegations which form the basis of the aggrieved person's appeal with the administrator within three days of the filing of such allegations with the commission and provided further such person shall not have standing before the commission until such filing takes place. Said allegations shall clearly state the basis of the aggrieved person's appeal, and make specific references to the provisions of this chapter or the rules of the department or basic merit principles promulgated thereunder which are alleged to have been violated, together with an explanation of how the person has been harmed.
Hearings on any appeal before the commission may be held before less than a majority of its members, or the chairman may assign one or more members to hold such hearings and to report his or their findings of fact and recommendations to the commission for its action.
No decision of the administrator involving the application of standards established by law or rule to a fact situation shall be reversed by the commission except upon a finding that such decision was not based upon a preponderance of evidence in the record.
(c) Subject to the procedures set forth in paragraph (b), except that all references therein to the administrator shall be taken to mean the local appointing authority or its designated representative, to hear and decide appeals by persons aggrieved by decisions, actions, or failure to act by local appointing authorities in accordance with the provisions of section eight of chapter thirty-one A.
(d) To conduct hearings regarding performance audits conducted by the administrator in accordance with provisions of chapter thirty-one A.
(e) To hear and decide appeals concerning performance evaluations, as provided by this chapter and chapter thirty-one A.
(f) To recommend any proposed rule changes to the administrator it feels would be consistent with basic merit principles outlined in this chapter and would be in the public interest.
(g) To adopt such rules of procedure as necessary for the conduct of its proceedings.