Immediately after appointment the commission shall organize by electing one of its members chair and hold regular meetings at least once a month, and such additional meetings as may be required for the proper discharge of their duties.
They shall appoint a secretary and chief examiner, who shall keep the records of the commission, preserve all reports made to it, superintend and keep a record of all examinations held under its direction, and perform such other duties as the commission may prescribe.
The secretary and chief examiner shall be appointed as a result of competitive examination which examination may be either original and open to all properly qualified citizens of the city, town or municipality, or promotional and limited to persons already in the service of the fire department or of the fire department and other departments of said city, town or municipality, as the commission may decide. The secretary and chief examiner may be subject to suspension, reduction or discharge in the same manner and subject to the same limitations as are provided in the case of members of the fire department. It shall be the duty of the civil service commission:
(1) To make suitable rules and regulations not inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter. Such rules and regulations shall provide in detail the manner in which examinations may be held, and appointments, promotions, transfers, reinstatements, demotions, suspensions and discharges shall be made, and may also provide for any other matters connected with the general subject of personnel administration, and which may be considered desirable to further carry out the general purposes of this chapter, or which may be found to be in the interest of good personnel administration. Such rules and regulations may be changed from time to time. The rules and regulations and any amendments thereof shall be printed, mimeographed or multigraphed for free public distribution. Such rules and regulations may be changed from time to time.
(2) All tests shall be practical, and shall consist only of subjects which will fairly determine the capacity of persons examined to perform duties of the position to which appointment is to be made, and may include tests of physical fitness and/or of manual skill.
(3) The rules and regulations adopted by the commission shall provide for a credit in accordance with RCW 41.04.010
in favor of all applicants for appointment under civil service, who, in time of war, or in any expedition of the armed forces of the United States, have served in and been honorably discharged from the armed forces of the United States, including the army, navy, and marine corps and the American Red Cross. These credits apply to entrance examinations only.
(4) The commission shall make investigations concerning and report upon all matters touching the enforcement and effect of the provisions of this chapter, and the rules and regulations prescribed hereunder; inspect all institutions, departments, offices, places, positions and employments affected by this chapter, and ascertain whether this chapter and all such rules and regulations are being obeyed. Such investigations may be made by the commission or by any commissioner designated by the commission for that purpose. Not only must these investigations be made by the commission as aforesaid, but the commission must make like investigation on petition of a citizen, duly verified, stating that irregularities or abuses exist, or setting forth in concise language, in writing, the necessity for such investigation. In the course of such investigation the commission or designated commissioner, or chief examiner, shall have the power to administer oaths, subpoena and require the attendance of witnesses and the production by them of books, papers, documents and accounts appertaining to the investigation and also to cause the deposition of witnesses residing within or without the state to be taken in the manner prescribed by law for like depositions in civil actions in the superior court; and the oaths administered hereunder and the subpoenas issued hereunder shall have the same force and effect as the oaths administered by a superior court judge in his or her judicial capacity; and the failure upon the part of any person so subpoenaed to comply with the provisions of this section shall be deemed a violation of this chapter, and punishable as such.
(5) All hearings and investigations before the commission, or designated commissioner, or chief examiner, shall be governed by this chapter and by rules of practice and procedure to be adopted by the commission, and in the conduct thereof neither the commission, nor designated commissioner shall be bound by the technical rules of evidence. No informality in any proceedings or hearing, or in the manner of taking testimony before the commission or designated commissioner, shall invalidate any order, decision, rule or regulation made, approved or confirmed by the commission: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That no order, decision, rule or regulation made by any designated commissioner conducting any hearing or investigation alone shall be of any force or effect whatsoever unless and until concurred in by at least one of the other two members.
(6) To hear and determine appeals or complaints respecting the administrative work of the personnel department; appeals upon the allocation of positions; the rejection of an examination, and such other matters as may be referred to the commission.
(7) Establish and maintain in card or other suitable form a roster of officers and employees.
(8) Provide for, formulate and hold competitive tests to determine the relative qualifications of persons who seek employment in any class or position and as a result thereof establish eligible lists for the various classes of positions, and to provide that persons laid off because of curtailment of expenditures, reduction in force, and for like causes, head the list in the order of their seniority, to the end that they shall be the first to be reemployed.
(9) When a vacant position is to be filled, to certify to the appointing authority, on written request, the name of the person highest on the eligible list for the class. If there are no such lists, to authorize provisional or temporary appointment list of such class. Such temporary or provisional appointment shall not continue for a period longer than four months; nor shall any person receive more than one provisional appointment or serve more than four months as a provisional appointee in any one fiscal year.
(10) Keep such records as may be necessary for the proper administration of this chapter.