(a) Before selecting an independent auditor, the Bell operating company shall submit preliminary audit requirements, including the proposed scope of the audit and the extent of compliance and substantive testing, to the Federal/State joint audit team organized pursuant to § 53.209(d);
(b) The Federal/State joint audit team shall review the preliminary audit requirements to determine whether it is adequate to meet the audit requirements in § 53.209 (b). The Federal/State joint audit shall have 30 days to review the audit requirements and determine any modifications that shall be incorporated into the final audit requirements.
(c) After the audit requirements have been approved by the Federal/State joint audit team, the Bell operating company shall engage within 30 days an independent auditor to conduct the biennial audit. In making its selection, the Bell operating company shall not engage any independent auditor who has been instrumental during the past two years in designing any of the accounting or reporting systems under review in the biennial audit.
(d) The independent auditor selected by the Bell operating company to conduct the audit shall develop a detailed audit program based on the final audit requirements and submit it to the Federal/State joint audit team. The Federal/State joint audit team shall have 30 days to review the audit program and determine any modifications that shall be incorporated into the final audit program.
(e) During the course of the biennial audit, the independent auditor, among other things, shall:
(1) Inform the Federal/State joint audit team of any revisions to the final audit program or to the scope of the audit.
(2) Notify the Federal/State joint audit team of any meetings with the Bell operating company or its separate affiliate in which audit findings are discussed.
(3) Submit to the Chief,
, any accounting or rule interpretations necessary to complete the audit.