Te Arkansas Administrative Procedure Act is found in Title 25, Chapter 15, Subchapter 2 of the Arkansas Code. According to A.C.A. § 25-15-203, an agency can adopt rules which state the general course of working of the agency, method of its operations, all formal and informal procedures including explanations of all forms and directives used. They can also adopt rules regarding procedures by which public can obtain information and make submissions. An administrative agency must make available all rules, other written statements, orders, decisions and opinions for public inspection.
A.C.A. § 25-15-204 discusses the rules regarding adoption, amendment or repeal of a rule. It says that an agency before adoption, amendment or repeal of a rule must provide a 30 days notice of the intended action which includes:
- statement of the terms of the intended action;
- details of the parties and issues involved;
- place where the interested parties will be present;
- manner in which the views of the parties will be presented.
The section also provides that an agency can adopt an emergency rule without giving prior notice if there is:
- imminent peril to the public health, safety, or welfare;
- in compliance with federal laws or regulations requiring less than thirty (30) days’ notice and states in writing its reasons for that finding.
A.C.A. § 25-15-204 provides for the compilation of “Arkansas Register”. According to the section, the secretary of state must publish the register at least monthly setting forth the synopsis of the rules filed by the agencies. The register must be furnished to all state agencies for a price fixed by the secretary and this income will be deposited to Constitutional Officers Fund and the State Central Services Fund in the State Treasury.
According to A.C.A. § 25-15-207, if a person alleges that a rule injures or threatens to injure that person, his/her business, or property, then, the validity or applicability of that rule will be determined in an action for declaratory judgment. The action for declaratory judgment will be brought in the circuit court of any county in which the plaintiff resides or does business or in Pulaski County Circuit Court. The agency will be the defendant in that action.
A.C.A. § 25-15-208 discusses the general procedures for administrative adjudication. It says that the parties must be provided with notice containing the time, place and nature of hearing, statement of facts and law involved and a statement regarding the legal authority and jurisdiction under which the hearing will be held. Parties must also be given opportunity for hearing, present evidence and respond to evidence and arguments on all issues involved.
According to A.C.A. § 25-15-208, if a person claims that the agency’s final action injures that person, his/her business, or property, then, s/he can file a petition for review within 30 days of receipt of agency’s final decision. The petition can be filed before the circuit court of any county in which the petitioner resides or does business or in Pulaski County Circuit Court.
A.C.A. § 25-15-215 provides that the attorney general can publish model rules of procedure for agencies to use. The model rules will contain the common functions and duties performed by agencies. Every agency formed after August 13, 2001 must adopt those rules and if they do not adopt those rules they must state the reason why the rules are not viable.