The Idaho Administrative Procedure Act (“Act”) is found in Title 67, Chapter 52 of the Idaho Code Statutes Annotated. According to the Act, an agency can promulgate a rule only if it is specifically authorized by a statute. Under the Act, the office of administrative rules coordinator (“coordinator”) is established in the department of administration. The coordinator will be a non classified employee who will be appointed by the director of the department of administration. The coordinator will have the authority to make clerical revisions and correct typographical or grammatical errors on proposed as well as existing rules.
According to Idaho Code § 67-5203, all rules authorized to be published by this Act or by any other provisions of law must be first published in the administrative bulletin (“bulletin”). The publication will be done by the coordinator. The bulletin will also contain all previously unpublished documents filed with the coordinator. Other documents that are to be published in the bulletin include:
- all executive orders of the governor;
- agency notices of all proposed rules;
- agency notices of intention to promulgate, adopt, amend or repeal rules;
- any legislative documents affecting final agency rule;
- all other agency documents required by law to be published in the bulletin.
The text of all documents published in the bulletin will be considered as the official text of that document until the document is published in the administrative code and therefore judicial notice of those documents must be taken. According to Idaho Code § 67-5204, the coordinator will annually publish the Idaho Administrative Code (“code”) which will be a codification of all executive orders of the governor published in the bulletin and not repealed, the text of all final rules, legislative documents affecting final agency rule and other documents required by law to be published in the code. The text of all documents in the code will be considered the official text and judicial notice of the same has to be taken.
Idaho Code § 67-5206 provides that the coordinator must propagate rules to establish a uniform numbering system, style and format, indexing system and publication schedule for the bulletin applicable to rules adopted by all agencies. The attorney general can also make rules concerning procedures for rule-making and contested cases.
According to Idaho Code § 67-5221, an administrative agency must publish notice of the proposed rule-making in the bulletin. The notice must contain the following;
- Specific statutory authority for rule-making;
- Statement of the substance of the proposed rule in non-technical language;
- Description as to any negative fiscal impact on the state general fund greater than ten thousand ($ 10,000) dollars;
- Text of the proposed rule in legislative format;
- Location, date and time of public hearings;
- Manner in which persons can make written comments on the proposed rule, request for oral presentation;
- Deadline for making public comments.
According to Idaho Code § 67-5222, an administrative agency before adopting, amending or repealing a rule, must provide reasonable opportunity to interested persons to submit data, arguments, opinions and views, either orally or in writing. The agency will receive comments for not less than 21 days after publication of notice of proposed rule making in the bulletin. The agency will provide an opportunity for oral presentation if requested by at least 25 persons, a political sub division or another agency. The agency has to provide opportunity for oral presentation only if it has discretion as to substantive content of the proposed rule.
Idaho Code § 67-5223 provides that after making technical corrections in the notice of proposed rule-making, the coordinator will provide the notice, the full text of the rule in legislative format and the substance of the intended action to the director of legislative services. If the proposed rule is based upon a federal law or regulation then a copy of that federal law or regulation will also accompany the submission to the director of legislative services. The director of legislative services will analyze and refer to the matter under consideration to the germane joint subcommittee. If the germane joint subcommittee files a written request with the agency for a statement concerning the economic impact of the proposed rule, then the agency must prepare and deliver that statement to the germane joint subcommittee.
Idaho Code § 67-5225 provides that every agency must maintain a rule-making record which will be available for public inspection and copying. The rule-making record must contain:
- copies of all publications in the bulletin;
- all written petitions, submissions and comments received by the agency and the agency’s response to that;
- all written materials considered by the agency in the proposed rule-making;
- record or transcriptions of any oral presentations;
- any other materials or documents prepared in concurrence with the rule-making.
According to Idaho Code § 67-5226, an agency can make temporary rule with immediate effect if the governor finds that that is necessary for the protection of public health and safety or to comply with deadlines in amendments to prevailing law or federal programs or to confer a benefit.
According to Idaho Code § 67-5230, any person can petition an agency requesting the adoption, amendment or repeal of a rule. The agency can either initiate proceedings for adoption, amendment or repeal or can deny the petition after stating the reasons for denial in writing. Further according to Idaho Code § 67-532, any person can petition an agency for a declaratory ruling as to any statutory provision or of any rule managed by the agency. A declaratory ruling issued by an agency is a final agency action. A petition for declaratory ruling will not prevent an agency from initiating a contested case related to that matter. A proceeding by an agency other than public utilities commission or industrial commission that may result in the issuance of an order is known as a contested case.
According to Idaho Code § 67-5242, all parties to a contested case must receive a notice which contains the time, place and nature of hearing, legal authority under which the hearing is to be held, short and plain statement of the matters asserted or the issues involved. If the presiding officer is the agency head, s/he will issue a final order. If the presiding officer is not the agency head, s/he will issue a recommended order which will become a final order after review by the agency head.
An agency can initiate emergency proceedings if there is imminent and immediate danger to public health, safety and welfare. Such proceedings must be necessary to prevent or avoid that imminent danger. Further an agency cannot revoke, suspend, amend or refuse to renew a license of a continuing nature, if the licensee has made sufficient and timely application for renewal.
A person, who has exhausted all administrative remedies and is aggrieved by a final agency action other than an order in a contested case, can seek judicial review of that action. The petition for judicial review can be filed in the district court of the county in which:
- the hearing was held;
- the final agency action was taken;
- the aggrieved party resides or operates its principal place of business in Idaho; or
- the real property or personal property that was the subject of the agency decision is located.
According to Idaho Code § 67-5278, a person can seek declaratory judgment in the district court to determine the validity and applicability of a rule if, the rule or its threatened application impairs, interferers with or threatened to impair the legal rights or privileges of the petitioner.
The temporary, pending and final rules of the agency will be reviewed by the standing committee of the legislature.