Administrative Procedure Act – Alaska

The Alaska Administrative Procedure Act is found in Title 44, Chapter 62 of the Alaska Statutes (Alaska Stat. § 44.62.950).  According to Alaska Stat. § 44.62.030 a state administrative agency can adopt, implement or manage a regulation only if it is within the scope of authority conferred to that agency and in accordance with the standards prescribed by other provisions of law.  Authority can be expressly or impliedly authorized to it by a statute. Any regulation made by an agency must be consistent with the statute and reasonably necessary to carry out the purpose of that statute.  One of the main purposes of the Act is to establish basic minimum procedural requirements for the adoption, amendment, or repeal of administrative regulations.

Article 2 of Title 44 (Alaska Stat. § 44.62.040 – § 44.62.125) recommends that every state agency possessing regulation-making authority conferred by the statute, must voluntarily or otherwise, file in original and duplicate, before the lieutenant governor a certified copy of every regulation or order of repeal adopted by it.  This will not include those regulations which:

  1. establishes or fixes rates, prices, or tariffs;
  2. is aimed at a particular person or group of persons and is not applicable to the state as a whole;
  3. if the effect of an order relating to public works in streets and highways under the jurisdiction of state agency is already specified to the public through signs or signals.

The filing should be in specified style and forms prescribed by that department of law.  They should also adhere to the drafting manual prepared by the concerned department of law.  The department can also advise the agency on legal matters and can prepare a written statement of approval or disapproval after reviewing each regulation.  For five years the lieutenant governor must maintain permanent files of each certified copies of regulations for public inspection.  From this act of lieutenant governor the following things are presumed:

  • It was duly adopted;
  • It was appropriately filed and made available for public inspection at the day and time endorsed on it;
  • All requirements of the act as well as policies relative to the regulation have been met with.
  • The text of the certified copy is same as the text of adopted regulation.

All the functions relating to handling of administrative regulations will be allotted to regulating attorney.

Article 3 of Title 44 (Alaska Stat. § 44.62.130 – § 44.62.175) deals with the administrative register and code.  According to Alaska Stat. § 44.62.130, the Alaska Administrative Code is the publication of all assembled regulations and the Alaska Administrative Register is the periodic supplement to the code.  There is a prescribed format for everything written in the code and the register.  The administrative registers must be published quarterly on the first day of the month.  There is also provision for the Alaska Online Public Notice System to be developed and supervised by the lieutenant governor and it will include:

  • notices of proposed actions, state agency meetings, solicitations to bid, state agency requests for proposals and, notices regarding an amended version of a document or other material incorporated by reference in a regulation;
  • executive orders and administrative orders issued by the governor, advisory opinions of the attorney general;
  • written delegations of authority made by the governor or the head of a principal department;
  • a summary of the text of recently issued formal opinions and memoranda of advice of the attorney general or of a regulation for which notice is given including an emergency regulation or repeal regardless of whether it has taken effect;
  • list of vacancies on boards, commissions, and other bodies whose members are appointed by the governor.

Article 4 of Title 44 (Alaska Stat. § 44.62.180 – § 44.62.290) discusses the procedures for adopting regulations.  Generally a regulation or order of repeal filed by the lieutenant governor will come to effect on the 30th day after the filing.  Certain exceptions to this rule are specified in the statute like:

  • If otherwise specifically provided in the statute;
  • If it is a regulation stipulating the organization or procedure of an agency;
  • If it is an emergency regulation;
  • If the state agency prescribes a later date while submitting the written instrument along with the regulation.

There are also special rules for giving notice.  Notice of the proposed regulation has to be published 30 days before the adoption, amendment or repeal of a regulation.  But if the state agency makes a written finding that the adoption of regulation or the order of repeal is necessary for the immediate preservation of public health safety or general welfare then it can be adopted as an emergency regulation.  In such cases other general procedures for adopting regulations can be avoided.  These sections under Article 4 apply only to regulations that are connected to the organization or procedure of an agency.

Article 5 of Title 44 (Alaska Stat. § 44.62.300, 305) deals with judicial review.  A person interested in the regulation can seek judicial declaration on the validity of the regulation by bringing action for declaratory relief in a superior court.  The court can then invalidate the regulation on the ground that it substantially failed to comply with the provisions of this Act.  In case of an emergency regulation, the court can invalidate the regulation, if from the facts stated it is apparent that the there was no emergency.  A person can also seek judicial relief from a superior court if he is a party to the administrative proceeding and has satisfied the procedural requirements.  Judicial relief can also be sought if the state agency unreasonably delayed the proceeding and further delay will cause irreparable damage to the person.

Article 6 of Title 44 deals with open meetings of governmental bodies and article 7 deals with legislative review of rules.  Article 8 (Alaska Stat. § 44.62.330 – § 44.62.630) speaks about the administrative adjudication.  According to Alaska Stat. § 44.62.340, an agency can delegate its powers and functions to subordinates if not expressly prohibited by law.  Alaska Stat. § 44.62.350 permits the appointment of hearing officers with experience in general practice of law to conduct hearings under this Act.


Inside Administrative Procedure Act – Alaska