IOWA ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE ACT

http://www.legis.state.ia.us/IACODE/2003/17A/

CHAPTER 17A IOWA ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE ACT

17A.1 Citation and statement of purpose.
17A.2 Definitions.
17A.3 Public information — adoption of rules — availability of rules and orders.
17A.4 Procedure for adoption of rules.
17A.4A Regulatory analysis.
17A.5 Filing and taking effect of rules.
17A.6 Publications.
17A.7 Petition for adoption of rules and request for review of rules.
17A.8 Administrative rules review committee.
17A.9 Declaratory orders.
17A.9A Waivers and variances.
17A.10 Informal settlements — waiver.
17A.10A Contested cases — no factual dispute.
17A.11 Presiding officer, disqualification, substitution.
17A.12 Contested cases — notice — hearing — records.
17A.13 Subpoenas — discovery.
17A.14 Rules of evidence — official notice.
17A.15 Final decisions — proposed decisions — conclusiveness — review by the agency.
17A.16 Decisions and orders — rehearing.
17A.17 Ex parte communications and separation of functions.
17A.18 Licenses.
17A.18A Emergency adjudicative proceedings.
17A.19 Judicial review.
17A.20 Appeals.
17A.21 Inconsistency with federal law.
17A.22 Agency authority to implement chapter.
17A.23 Construction.
17A.24 to 17A.30 Reserved.
17A.31 Small business regulatory flexibility analysis.  Repealed by 98 Acts, ch 1202, §45, 46.
17A.32 Time limit applicable to emergency rules.  Repealed by 98 Acts, ch 1202, §45, 46.
17A.33 Review by administrative rules review committee.
17A.34 Competition with private enterprise — notice for proposed rules.

17A.1  Citation and statement of purpose.

1. This chapter may be cited as the “Iowa Administrative Procedure Act”.

2. This chapter is intended to provide a minimum procedural code for the operation of all state agencies when they take action affecting the rights and duties of the public. Nothing in this chapter is meant to discourage agencies from adopting procedures providing greater protections to the public or conferring additional rights upon the public; and save for express provisions of this chapter to the contrary, nothing in this chapter is meant to abrogate in whole or in part any statute prescribing procedural duties for an agency which are greater than or in addition to those provided here. This chapter is meant to apply to all rulemaking and contested case proceedings and all suits for the judicial review of agency action that are not specifically excluded from this chapter or some portion thereof by its express terms or by the express terms of another chapter.

The purposes of the Iowa administrative procedure Act are:  To provide legislative oversight of powers and duties delegated to administrative agencies; to increase public accountability of administrative agencies; to simplify government by assuring a uniform minimum procedure to which all agencies will be held in the conduct of their most important functions; to increase public access to governmental information; to increase public participation in the formulation of administrative rules; to increase the fairness of agencies in their conduct of contested case proceedings; and to simplify the process of judicial review of agency action as well as increase its ease and availability. In accomplishing its objectives, the intention of this chapter is to strike a fair balance between these purposes and the need for efficient, economical and effective government administration. The chapter is not meant to alter the substantive rights of any person or agency. Its impact is limited to procedural rights with the expectation that better substantive results will be achieved in the everyday conduct of state government by improving the process by which those results are attained.

Definitions as used in this chapter: http://www.legis.state.ia.us/IACODE/2003/17A/2.html

17A.3  Public information — adoption of rules — availability of rules and orders.

1. In addition to other requirements imposed by Constitution or statute, each agency shall:

a. Adopt as a rule a description of the organization of the agency which states the general course and method of its operations, the administrative subdivisions of the agency and the programs implemented by each of them, a statement of the mission of the agency, and the methods by which and location where the public may obtain information or make submissions or requests.

b. Adopt rules of practice setting forth the nature and requirements of all formal and informal procedures available to the public, including a description of all forms and instructions that are to be used by the public in dealing with the agency.

c. As soon as feasible and to the extent practicable, adopt rules, in addition to those otherwise required by this chapter, embodying appropriate standards, principles, and procedural safeguards that the agency will apply to the law it administers.

d. Make available for public inspection all rules, and make available for public inspection and index by subject, all other written statements of law or policy, or interpretations formulated, adopted, or used by the agency in the discharge of its functions. Except as otherwise required by Constitution or statute, or in the use of discovery under the Iowa rules of civil procedure or in criminal cases, an agency shall not be required to make available for public inspection those portions of its staff manuals, instructions, or other statements excluded from the definition of “rule” by section 17A.2, subsection 11, paragraph “f”.

e. Make available for public inspection and index by name and subject all final orders, decisions, and opinions:  Provided that to the extent required to prevent a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy or trade secrets, an agency shall delete identifying details when it makes available for public inspection any final order, decision, or opinion; however, in each case the justification for the deletion shall be explained fully in writing.

2. No agency rule or other written statement of law or policy, or interpretation, order, decision, or opinion is valid or effective against any person or party, nor shall it be invoked by the agency for any purpose, until it has been made available for public inspection and indexed as required by subsection 1, paragraphs “d” and “e”. This provision is not applicable in favor of any person or party who has actual timely knowledge thereof and the burden of proving such knowledge shall be on the agency.

17A.4  Procedure for adoption of rules.

1. Prior to the adoption, amendment, or repeal of any rule an agency shall:

a. Give notice of its intended action by submitting three copies of the notice to the administrative rules coordinator, who shall assign an ARC number to each rulemaking document and forward two copies to the administrative code editor for publication in the Iowa administrative bulletin created pursuant to section 17A.6. Any notice of intended action shall be published at least thirty-five days in advance of the action. The notice shall include a statement of either the terms or substance of the intended action or a description of the subjects and issues involved, and the time when, the place where, and the manner in which interested persons may present their views.

b. Afford all interested persons not less than twenty days to submit data, views, or arguments in writing. If timely requested in writing by twenty-five interested persons, by a governmental subdivision, by the administrative rules review committee, by an agency, or by an association having not less than twenty-five members, the agency must give interested persons an opportunity to make oral presentation. The opportunity for oral presentation must be held at least twenty days after publication of the notice of its time and place in the Iowa administrative bulletin. The agency shall consider fully all written and oral submissions respecting the proposed rule. Within one hundred eighty days following either the notice published according to the provisions of paragraph “a” or within one hundred eighty days after the last date of the oral presentations on the proposed rule, whichever is later, the agency shall adopt a rule pursuant to the rulemaking proceeding or shall terminate the proceeding by publishing notice of termination in the Iowa administrative bulletin.

An agency shall include in a preamble to each rule it adopts a brief explanation of the principal reasons for its action and, if applicable, a brief explanation of the principal reasons for its failure to provide in that rule for the waiver of the rule in specified situations if no such waiver provision is included in the rule. This explanatory requirement does not apply when the agency adopts a rule that only defines the meaning of a provision of law if the agency does not possess delegated authority to bind the courts to any extent with its definition. In addition, if requested to do so by an interested person, either prior to adoption or within thirty days thereafter, the agency shall issue a concise statement of the principal reasons for and against the rule adopted, incorporating therein the reasons for overruling considerations urged against the rule. This concise statement shall be issued either at the time of the adoption of the rule or within thirty-five days after the agency receives the request.

c. Mail the number of copies of the proposed rule as requested to the state office of a trade or occupational association which has registered its name and address with the agency. The trade or occupational association shall reimburse the agency for the actual cost incurred in providing the copies of the proposed rule under this paragraph. Failure to provide copies as provided in this paragraph shall not be grounds for the invalidation of a rule, unless that failure was deliberate on the part of that agency or the result of gross negligence.

2. When an agency for good cause finds that notice and public participation would be unnecessary, impracticable, or contrary to the public interest, the provisions of subsection 1 shall be inapplicable. The agency shall incorporate in each rule issued in reliance upon this provision either the finding and a brief statement of the reasons for the finding, or a statement that the rule is within a very narrowly tailored category of rules whose issuance has previously been exempted from subsection 1 by a special rule relying on this provision and including such a finding and statement of reasons for the entire category. If the administrative rules review committee by a two-thirds vote, the governor, or the attorney general files with the administrative code editor an objection to the adoption of any rule pursuant to this subsection, that rule shall cease to be effective one hundred eighty days after the date the objection was filed. A copy of the objection, properly dated, shall be forwarded to the agency at the time of filing the objection. In any action contesting a rule adopted pursuant to this subsection, the burden of proof shall be on the agency to show that the procedures of subsection 1 were impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest and that, if a category of rules was involved, the category was very narrowly tailored.

3. No rule adopted after July 1, 1975, is valid unless adopted in substantial compliance with the above requirements of this section. However, a rule shall be conclusively presumed to have been made in compliance with all of the above procedural requirements of this section if it has not been invalidated on the grounds of noncompliance in a proceeding commenced within two years after its effective date.

4. a. If the administrative rules review committee created by section 17A.8, the governor, or the attorney general finds objection to all or some portion of a proposed or adopted rule because that rule is deemed to be unreasonable, arbitrary, capricious, or otherwise beyond the authority delegated to the agency, the committee, governor, or attorney general may, in writing, notify the agency of the objection. In the case of a rule issued under subsection 2, or a rule made effective under section 17A.5, subsection 2, paragraph “b”, the committee, governor, or attorney general may notify the agency of such an objection. The committee, governor, or attorney general shall also file a certified copy of such an objection in the office of the administrative code editor and a notice to the effect that an objection has been filed shall be published in the next issue of the Iowa administrative bulletin and in the Iowa administrative code when that rule is printed in it. The burden of proof shall then be on the agency in any proceeding for judicial review or for enforcement of the rule heard subsequent to the filing to establish that the rule or portion of the rule timely objected to according to the above procedure is not unreasonable, arbitrary, capricious, or otherwise beyond the authority delegated to it.

b. If the agency fails to meet the burden of proof prescribed for a rule objected to according to the provisions of paragraph “a” of this subsection, the court shall declare the rule or portion of the rule objected to invalid and judgment shall be rendered against the agency for court costs. Such court costs shall include a reasonable attorney fee and shall be payable by the director of revenue and finance from the support appropriations of the agency which issued the rule in question.

5. Upon the vote of two-thirds of its members the administrative rules review committee may delay the effective date of a rule seventy days beyond that permitted in section 17A.5, unless the rule was promulgated under section 17A.5, subsection 2, paragraph “b”. This provision shall be utilized by the committee only if further time is necessary to study and examine the rule. Notice of an effective date that was delayed under this provision shall be published in the Iowa administrative code and bulletin.

6. The governor may rescind an adopted rule by executive order within seventy days of the rule becoming effective. The governor shall provide a copy of the executive order to the administrative code editor who shall include it in the next publication of the Iowa administrative bulletin.

17A.4A  Regulatory analysis.

1. An agency shall issue a regulatory analysis of a proposed rule that complies with subsection 2, paragraph “a”, if, within thirty-two days after the published notice of proposed rule adoption, a written request for the analysis is submitted to the agency by the administrative rules review committee or the administrative rules coordinator. An agency shall issue a regulatory analysis of a proposed rule that complies with subsection 2, paragraph “b”, if the rule would have a substantial impact on small business and if, within thirty-two days after the published notice of proposed rule adoption, a written request for analysis is submitted to the agency by the administrative rules review committee, the administrative rules coordinator, at least twenty-five persons signing that request who each qualify as a small business or by an organization representing at least twenty-five such persons. If a rule has been adopted without prior notice and an opportunity for public participation in reliance upon section 17A.4, subsection 2, the written request for an analysis that complies with subsection 2, paragraph “a” or “b”, may be made within seventy days of publication of the rule.

2. a. Except to the extent that a written request for a regulatory analysis expressly waives one or more of the following, the regulatory analysis must contain all of the following:

(1)  A description of the classes of persons who probably will be affected by the proposed rule, including classes that will bear the costs of the proposed rule and classes that will benefit from the proposed rule.

(2)  A description of the probable quantitative and qualitative impact of the proposed rule, economic or otherwise, upon affected classes of persons, including a description of the nature and amount of all of the different kinds of costs that would be incurred in complying with the proposed rule.

(3)  The probable costs to the agency and to any other agency of the implementation and enforcement of the proposed rule and any anticipated effect on state revenues.

(4)  A comparison of the probable costs and benefits of the proposed rule to the probable costs and benefits of inaction.

(5)  A determination of whether less costly methods or less intrusive methods exist for achieving the purpose of the proposed rule.

(6)  A description of any alternative methods for achieving the purpose of the proposed rule that were seriously considered by the agency and the reasons why they were rejected in favor of the proposed rule.

b. In the case of a rule that would have a substantial impact on small business, the regulatory analysis must contain a discussion of whether it would be feasible and practicable to do any of the following to reduce the impact of the rule on small business:

(1) Establish less stringent compliance or reporting requirements in the rule for small business.

(2) Establish less stringent schedules or deadlines in the rule for compliance or reporting requirements for small business.

(3) Consolidate or simplify the rule’s compliance or reporting requirements for small business.

(4) Establish performance standards to replace design or operational standards in the rule for small business.

(5) Exempt small business from any or all requirements of the rule.

c. The agency shall reduce the impact of a proposed rule that would have a substantial impact on small business by using a method discussed in paragraph “b” if the agency finds that the method is legal and feasible in meeting the statutory objectives which are the basis of the proposed rule.

3. Each regulatory analysis must include quantifications of the data to the extent practicable and must take account of both short-term and long-term consequences.

4. Upon receipt by an agency of a timely request for a regulatory analysis, the agency shall extend the period specified in this chapter for each of the following until at least twenty days after publication in the administrative bulletin of a concise summary of the regulatory analysis:

a. The end of the period during which persons may make written submissions on the proposed rule.

b. The end of the period during which an oral proceeding may be requested.

c. The date of any required oral proceeding on the proposed rule.

In the case of a rule adopted without prior notice and an opportunity for public participation in reliance upon section 17A.4, subsection 2, the summary must be published within seventy days of the request.

5. The published summary of the regulatory analysis must also indicate where persons may obtain copies of the full text of the regulatory analysis and where, when, and how persons may present their views on the proposed rule and demand an oral proceeding thereon if one is not already provided. Agencies shall make available to the public, to the maximum extent feasible, the published summary and the full text of the regulatory analysis described in this subsection in an electronic format, including, but not limited to, access to the documents through the internet.

6. If the agency has made a good faith effort to comply with the requirements of subsections 1 through 3, the rule may not be invalidated on the ground that the contents of the regulatory analysis are insufficient or inaccurate.

7. For the purpose of this section, “small business” means any entity including but not limited to an individual, partnership, corporation, joint venture, association, or cooperative, to which all of the following apply:

a. It is not an affiliate or subsidiary of an entity dominant in its field of operation.

b. It has either twenty or fewer full-time equivalent positions or less than one million dollars in annual gross revenues in the preceding fiscal year.

For purposes of this definition, “dominant in its field of operation” means having more than twenty full-time equivalent positions and more than one million dollars in annual gross revenues, and “affiliate or subsidiary of an entity dominant in its field of operation” means an entity which is at least twenty percent owned by an entity dominant in its field of operation, or by partners, officers, directors, majority stockholders, or their equivalent, of an entity dominant in that field of operation.

17A.5  Filing and taking effect of rules.

1. Each agency shall file in the office of the administrative rules coordinator three certified copies of each rule adopted by it. The administrative rules coordinator shall assign an ARC number to each rulemaking document and forward two copies to the administrative code editor. The administrative rules coordinator shall keep a permanent register of the rules open to public inspection.

2. A rule adopted after July 1, 1975, is effective thirty-five days after filing, as required in this section, and indexing and publication in the Iowa administrative bulletin except that:

a. If a later date is required by statute or specified in the rule, the later date is the effective date.

b. Subject to applicable constitutional or statutory provisions, a rule becomes effective immediately upon filing with the administrative rules coordinator, or at a subsequent stated date prior to indexing and publication, or at a stated date less than thirty-five days after filing, indexing and publication, if the agency finds:

(1) That a statute so provides;

(2) That the rule confers a benefit or removes a restriction on the public or some segment thereof; or

(3) That this effective date is necessary because of imminent peril to the public health, safety or welfare. In any subsequent action contesting the effective date of a rule promulgated under this paragraph, the burden of proof shall be on the agency to justify its finding. The agency’s finding and a brief statement of the reasons therefor shall be filed with and made a part of the rule. Prior to indexing and publication, the agency shall make reasonable efforts to make known to the persons who may be affected by it a rule made effective under the terms of this paragraph.

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