(a) In developing and drafting rules for adoption in accordance with this Article, agencies shall adhere to the following principles:
(1) An agency may adopt only rules that are expressly authorized by federal or State law and that are necessary to serve the public interest.
(2) An agency shall seek to reduce the burden upon those persons or entities who must comply with the rule.
(3) Rules shall be written in a clear and unambiguous manner and must be reasonably necessary to implement or interpret federal or State law.
(4) An agency shall consider the cumulative effect of all rules adopted by the agency related to the specific purpose for which the rule is proposed. The agency shall not adopt a rule that is unnecessary or redundant.
(5) When appropriate, rules shall be based on sound, reasonably available scientific, technical, economic, and other relevant information. Agencies shall include a reference to this information in the notice of text required by G.S. 150B-21.2(c).
(6) Rules shall be designed to achieve the regulatory objective in a cost-effective and timely manner.
(b) Each agency subject to this Article shall conduct an annual review of its rules to identify existing rules that are unnecessary, unduly burdensome, or inconsistent with the principles set forth in subsection (a) of this section. The agency shall repeal any rule identified by this review.
(c) Each agency subject to this Article shall post on its Web site, no later than the publication date of the notice of text in the North Carolina Register, all of the following:
(1) The text of a proposed rule.
(2) An explanation of the proposed rule and the reason for the proposed rule.
(3) The federal certification required by subsection (g) of this section.
(4) Instructions on how and where to submit oral or written comments on the proposed rule, including a description of the procedure by which a person can object to a proposed rule and subject the proposed rule to legislative review.
(5) Any fiscal note that has been prepared for the proposed rule.
If an agency proposes any change to a rule or fiscal note prior to the date it proposes to adopt a rule, the agency shall publish the proposed change on its Web site as soon as practicable after the change is drafted. If an agency's staff proposes any such change to be presented to the rule-making agency, the staff shall publish the proposed change on the agency's Web site as soon as practicable after the change is drafted.
(d) Each agency shall determine whether its policies and programs overlap with the policies and programs of another agency. In the event two or more agencies' policies and programs overlap, the agencies shall coordinate the rules adopted by each agency to avoid unnecessary, unduly burdensome, or inconsistent rules.
(e) Each agency shall quantify the costs and benefits to all parties of a proposed rule to the greatest extent possible. Prior to submission of a proposed rule for publication in accordance with G.S. 150B-21.2, the agency shall review the details of any fiscal note prepared in connection with the proposed rule and approve the fiscal note before submission.
(f) If the agency determines that a proposed rule will have a substantial economic impact as defined in G.S. 150B-21.4(b1), the agency shall consider at least two alternatives to the proposed rule. The alternatives may have been identified by the agency or by members of the public.
(g) Whenever an agency proposes a rule that is purported to implement a federal law, or required by or necessary for compliance with federal law, or on which the receipt of federal funds is conditioned, the agency shall:
(1) Prepare a certification identifying the federal law requiring adoption of the proposed rule. The certification shall contain a statement setting forth the reasons why the proposed rule is required by federal law. If all or part of the proposed rule is not required by federal law or exceeds the requirements of federal law, then the certification shall state the reasons for that opinion.
(2) Post the certification on the agency Web site in accordance with subsection (c) of this section.
(3) Maintain a copy of the federal law and provide to the Office of State Budget and Management the citation to the federal law requiring or pertaining to the proposed rule.
(h) Before an agency that is within the Governor's cabinet submits the proposed text of a permanent rule change for publication in the North Carolina Register, the agency must submit the text of the proposed rule change and an analysis of the proposed rule change to the Office of State Budget and Management and obtain a certification from the Office that the agency adhered to the principles set forth in this section. Before an agency that is within the departments of the Council of State, other than the Governor, submits the proposed text of a permanent rule change for publication in the North Carolina Register, the agency must submit the text of the proposed rule change and an analysis of the proposed rule change to the Commission and obtain a certification from the Commission, or the Commission's designee, as described in G.S. 150B-21.1(b), that the agency adhered to the principles set forth in this section. The Office of State Budget and Management or the Commission, respectively, must respond to an agency's request for certification within 20 business days of receipt of the request. (2011-398, s. 2; 2012-187, s. 3; 2013-143, s. 1.1.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014