Organization of Rules

Organization of the Administrative Code
Organization Within Rules
Numbering Rules
Title Numbering
Rule and Section Numbering
Subsection (Paragraph) Numbering
Reusing Rule and Section Numbers

Organization of the Administrative Code

The Utah Administrative Code is organized alphabetically by department name, each department followed by a listing of its constituent agencies. In some cases, agencies are further subdivided. The Division of Administrative Rules assigns each agency an “R” number or title. The first department, for example, is the Department of Administrative Services, with a title for department “Administration.” It is Title R13. Its first agency, the Division of Administrative Rules is assigned Title R15, and so on. Rules enacted by an agency are therefore grouped together in a manner similar to a title in the statutory code. This is appropriate since each agency normally deals with a unique, but broad, subject. Individual rules, then, correspond to statutory chapters, since each should have a unique, specific subject.

There is no requirement on how to organize rules within the agency “title.” Agencies may arrange their rules chronologically (by order of adoption), by subject matter, by administrative organization of the agency, or some other sequence. While it is useful to keep some logical order, rules change far more frequently than do statutes and agencies would often have to rewrite their entire set to maintain perfect uniformity.

A suggestion in organizing rules may prove helpful. The published version of the Utah Administrative Code indexes rules by their authorizing statute and by subject. Grouping rules around their enabling statutory citation or according to general subjects (“construction,” “inspection,” “traffic rules,” “violations,” etc.) will result in an easier-to-use index. Whatever pattern is used, the rulewriter should keep it as simple and consistent as possible; any system must account for future changes in administrative organization, additions, and deletions.

Should the Legislature change the name of a department, the agency will need to file a nonsubstantive change for each department rule to make that change appear in the administrative code. Likewise, should the administration reorganize the structure of a department or rename agencies within a department, the agency must file a nonsubstantive change for each rule to make that change appear in the administrative code.

If a department is renamed, the title designation will change. If a department reorganizes its divisions and agencies, the Title catchlines will be changed to reflect the reorganization, but the titles will not be renumbered.

Organization Within Rules

Because rules are as diverse as the agencies that make them, no single organization scheme will serve all instances. However, rules are extensions of their governing statutes. Therefore, rules should generally follow the patterns used in the statutory code.

A rule should begin with a general purpose section, outlining the intent and application of the rule, followed by a section identifying its statutory authorization.

Example:

R15-5-1. Purpose.

(1) This rule provides the procedures for informal adjudicative proceedings governing:

(a) appeal and review of a decision by the division not to publish an agency's proposed rule or rule change or not to register an agency's notice of effective date; and

(b) a determination by the division whether an agency rule meets the procedural requirements of Title 63, Chapter 46a, the Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act.

(2) The informal procedures of this rule apply to all other division actions for which an adjudicative proceeding may be required.

R15-5-2. Authority.

This rule is required by Sections 63-46b-4 and 63-46a-5, and is enacted under the authority of Subsection 63-46a-10(1)(n) and Sections 63-46b-4, 63-46b-5, and 63-46b-21.

A definitions section, if necessary, should follow. Terms used throughout a rule should be defined in one section so that they are easy to find. If it is necessary to define terms in individual sections, those definitions should appear at the beginning of each section in which they are used. It will only confuse the reader if the rulewriter places a definition in one section somewhere in the middle of a rule, that describes a term used in another section. If the authorizing statute contains definitions, they may be referenced and definitions of other needed terms added.

Example:

R15-5-3. Definitions.

(1) The terms used in this rule are defined in Section 63-46b-2.

(2) In addition, “division” means the Division of Administrative Rules.

The third and following sections should be the body of the rule. Each section should develop a separate subject such as “standards,” “application procedure,” “selection criteria,” “notification,” “appeals,” and “penalties.” Sections should be arranged in a logical sequence of descending importance.

Numbering Rules

Title Numbering

Rule numbering follows a pattern similar to statute numbering (see Section 63-46a-9.6. The three-part citation tells the reader the agency, the rule number, and section. Each rulemaking organization in state government is assigned a unique “R” number. Therefore, the rulewriter will normally use the same first number for every rule. When the name of an agency changes, either because of legislation or administrative reorganization, the rulewriter should notify the Division in writing.

Rule and Section Numbering

The rule number, which follows the R number and a hyphen, is limited to three characters. The section number, following another hyphen, is limited to five characters. Because of the computer logic and coding, rule and section designations must be at least one Arabic number greater than zero (for example, Section R15-1-1). The Arabic number may be followed by a letter (for example, Section R562-1f-1a). Variations of this format are not permitted.

The Division uses computers to manage and publish Utah's administrative rules. When rules are codified, the computer sorts rules based on the citation. An agency will find that its rules do not appear in the order it intended if this standard is not followed.

INCORRECT CORRECT
501-1-5 R501-1-5
R513-201.105 R513-201-105
R. 574-34 R574-34
R51 -9 -1 R51-9-1
R414-032-0 R414-32-1
R414-A2 R414-2A
R414-2A8 R414-2A-8
R432-150A R432-15A
R-513-204 R513-204
R51-47212-23112b R51-472-2311b
R920-1.1-14.001 R920-1a-14a
R156-66-604aa R156-66-605a

If an agency chooses to use a letter as part of one rule number (i.e., R414-2A), it may not number another rule using three digits (i.e., R414-500). Likewise, if an agency chooses to use a letter as part of one section number (i.e., R156-55c-1302c), it may not number another section in any of its rules using five digits (i.e., R156-55c-10001). When the two numbering styles are mixed, computers will not correctly sort the agency's rules.

The computer will always read left to right and sort rules numerically, then alphabetically, by the agency, rule, then section numbers. The rulewriter should organize rules and sections accordingly. The simpler the system, the less confusing it is to the reader.

Subsection (Paragraph) Numbering

To date, internal numbering (paragraph numbering) has been left to the discretion of the rulewriter. The result is a hodgepodge of internal numbering systems. The Division recommends the following internal numbering system, which is the same system used in statute.

Example:

R15-5-1. Purpose.

(1) This rule provides the procedures for informal adjudicative proceedings governing:

(a) appeal and review of a decision by the division not to publish an agency's proposed rule or rule change or not to register an agency's notice of effective date; and

(b) a determination by the division whether an agency rule meets the procedural requirements of Title 63, Chapter 46a, the Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act.

(2) The informal procedures of this rule apply to all other division actions for which an adjudicative proceeding may be required.

The rulewriter should avoid dividing sections into units smaller than a subsection such as “Subsection R56-1-1(2)” or “Subsection R56-1-1(2)(a).” When further division is absolutely necessary, however, rulewriters may follow the statutory system of citing the lower case Roman numeral, the capital letter, then the upper case Roman numeral, all enclosed by parentheses: “Subsection R56-1-1(2)(a)(i)(A)(I).” References to these subdivisions are always “subsections,” to avoid confusion and maintain simplicity. This numbering system, as developed and implemented by the legislature, allows outlines to extend to a maximum of five levels.

Example:
PARAGRAPH NUMBERING LEVELS GRAPHICAL ILLUSTRATION OF PARAGRAPH NUMBERING LEVELS
R1-1-101. Example. R1-1-101. Example.
(1)… (1)…
(a)… (a)…
(i)… (i)…
(A)… (A)…
(I)… (I)…
(2)… (2)…(Note: multiple indentations are not allowed in rules)

Currently, rulewriters are permitted and encouraged to renumber within existing definitional sections to alphabetize the section. In all other circumstances, a rulewriter must use great care. Rearranging subsections makes it difficult to compare sections by computer to look for potential conflicts or unmarked changes. Also, it is possible that by rearranging the subsections, the change inadvertently alters the substance of the section. This change in meaning may be difficult to catch.

If the rulewriter is amending a section of a rule in which the subsections are numbered in a different manner and the rulewriter is going to change the number to be consistent with this form, the rulewriter must check cross-references to determine if that particular subsection is referenced in any other sections of the code. The rulewriter must then change all other references to conform with the new numbering. If cross-references appear in another title of the administrative code, the rulewriter should notify the other agency of the pending change. The rulewriter should also check any relevant case law to determine whether that specific subsection is mentioned in a court opinion. If that is the case, the rulewriter may want to consider leaving the whole section and the impacted subsection as it is currently numbered to preserve the legal history of the subsection even though it is inconsistent with this general drafting guideline.

While consistency throughout the administrative code is desirable, because consistency makes the code easier to use, it is most important that subsection numbering be consistent within a rule and a title.

Reusing Rule and Section Numbers

In general, the rulewriter should not use the number of a section that has been repealed to enact new unrelated material. This leads to a confusing history for those newly enacted provisions that have no relation to the old, repealed provisions. Similarly, it is preferable to create a new rule rather than enact unrelated subject matter under a repealed rule's number. However, if the new section or rule is related in subject matter to the old section or rule, it is appropriate to use the number of the repealed section or rule.