(a)   The commission shall make, promulgate, prescribe and enforce rules for the appointment, promotion, transfer, layoff, reinstatement, suspension and removal of employees in the classified service, and other rules necessary for the enforcement of the merit system of pay and promotion and for the commission's procedure. The commission shall keep a permanent, public record of its proceedings.
   (b)   Any member of the commission may subpoena and require the attendance of witnesses, cause the administration of oaths and compel testimony and the production of books, papers and other evidence pertinent to any issue before the commission. If any applicant fails to respond to these requests, the commission may take that failure into account when deciding the applicant's matter.