BEFORE THE DEPARTMENT OF LIVESTOCK
OF THE STATE OF MONTANA
In the matter of the amendment of ARM 32.2.102 pertaining to board oversight of agency actions
NOTICE OF PROPOSED AMENDMENT
NO PUBLIC HEARING CONTEMPLATED
TO: All Concerned Persons
1. The Department of Livestock proposes to amend the above-stated rule.
2. The Department of Livestock will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in the rulemaking process or need an alternative accessible format of this notice. If you require an accommodation, contact the Department of Livestock no later than 5:00 p.m. on March 16, 2018 to advise us of the nature of the accommodation that you need. Please contact the Department of Livestock, 301 N. Roberts St., Room 308, P.O. Box 202001, Helena, MT 59620-2001; telephone: (406) 444-9321; TTD number: 1 (800) 253-4091; fax: (406) 444-1929; e-mail: MDOLcomments@mt.gov.
3. The rule as proposed to be amended provides as follows, new matter underlined, deleted matter interlined:
32.2.102 BOARD OVERSIGHT OF
AGENCY EMPLOYEE ACTIONS
(1) When a
private citizen feels person can demonstrate that a decision an action of an agent employee of the Department of Livestock is unfair and if carried to completion will result in unnecessary inconvenience or harm to him, he may seek the reversal of the decision by requesting the board of livestock in writing to stop the implementation of the decision, or to otherwise modify its impact. Upon receipt of the letter, the matter must be placed upon the agenda of the next regular meeting of the board them, that person must appeal the action of the employee in writing to the employee’s immediate supervisor within 30 days of the action. Any subsequent appeal must be made to each successive immediate supervisor, up to an appeal to the board.
(2) If the action complained of must be halted immediately in order to prevent irreparable harm, the person seeking relief must so state in his letter. In the event the board is not in session at the time the letter is received, the administrator of the division at which the complaint is directed must immediately contact the chairman of the board, or in his absence the vice chairman, who must appoint a member of the board to investigate the act upon the matter as follows:
(a) He must meet as soon as possible with the person seeking relief and the division administrator at a time and place convenient to the parties involved. At the board member's option the meeting may be by conference telephone call.
(b) To the extent that the action taken is discretionary and not required by law, the board member may, if satisfied the action is unfair and will cause unnecessary inconvenience or harm, suspend implementation of the action until the next regular meeting of the board, at which time the full board must consider the matter. In the event the administrator wishes to challenge the decision at the next regular board meeting, he must immediately notify the person seeking relief so he may be present if he desires.
(c) When an administrator whose decision has been reversed by the board member feels the reversal will result in an immediate and serious peril to the public health, welfare or safety he may request an immediate meeting of the board to consider the action. The person seeking relief may also request a meeting with the board if he is dissatisfied with the board member's decision. Such a meeting may be conducted by conference telephone call, provided the person seeking relief is given the opportunity to participate.
AUTH: 2-4-201, MCA
IMP: 2-4-201, 2-15-3101, MCA
REASON: The department proposes to amend the rule to ensure that the department employees most familiar with the circumstances of an appeal will evaluate the appeal first. The amendment would provide that an appeal proceed up the chain of command prior to reaching the board, creating a record for the board to review. Providing an appeal up the chain of command is anticipated to reduce the department’s initial response time to an appeal. Providing a timeline for filing the appeal is anticipated to ensure that appeals are presented timely. The requirement that appeals be in writing is retained from the current rule.
4. Concerned persons may submit their data, views, or arguments in writing concerning the proposed action to Department of Livestock, 301 N. Roberts St., Room 306, P.O. Box 202001, Helena, MT 59620-2001, by faxing to (406) 444-1929, or by e-mailing to MDOLcomments@mt.gov to be received no later than 5:00 p.m., March 23, 2018.
5. If persons who are directly affected by the proposed action wish to express their data, views, and arguments orally or in writing at a public hearing, they must make a written request for a hearing and submit this request along with any written comments they have to the same address as above. The written request for hearing must be received no later than 5:00 p.m., March 23, 2018.
6. If the department receives requests for a public hearing on the proposed action from either 10 percent or 25, whichever is less, of the persons directly affected by the proposed action; from the appropriate administrative rule review committee of the Legislature; from a governmental subdivision or agency; or from an association having not less than 25 members who will be directly affected, a public hearing will be held at a later date. Notice of the public hearing will be published in the Montana Administrative Register. Because the number of persons who are directly affected by the proposed action cannot be determined, for purposes of this rulemaking the department will schedule a hearing if requested by 25 or more persons.
7. The department maintains a list of interested persons who wish to receive notices of rulemaking actions proposed by this agency. Persons who wish to have their name added to the list shall make a written request that includes the name, e-mail, and mailing address of the person to receive notices and specifies for which program the person wishes to receive notices. Notices will be sent by e-mail unless a mailing preference is noted in the request. Such written request may be mailed or delivered to the contact person in 4 above or may be made by completing a request form at any rules hearing held by the department.
8. The bill sponsor contact requirements of 2-4-302, MCA, do not apply.
9. With regard to the requirements of 2-4-111, MCA, the department has determined that the amendment of the above-referenced rule will not significantly and directly impact small businesses.
/s/ Michael S. Honeycutt BY: /s/ Donna Wilham
Michael S. Honeycutt Donna Wilham
Executive Officer Rule Reviewer
Board of Livestock
Department of Livestock
Certified to the Secretary of State February 13, 2018.