During the 78th legislative session (2003), SB277 was passed instructing the Texas Board of Professional Engineers to develop and implement a process to prepare written Policy Advisory Opinions. Section 1001.601 was added to the Occupations Code and Subchapter G of Chapter 131, Texas Administrative Code Title 22 was adopted by the Board.
SUBCHAPTER G: ADVISORY OPINIONS
131.101 Subject of an Advisory Opinion
On its own initiative or at the request of any interested person, the board shall prepare a written advisory opinion about:
(1) an interpretation of the Act; or
(2) the application of the Act to a person in regard to a specified existing or hypothetical factual situation.
Source Note: The provisions of this 131.101 amended to be effective December 21, 2008.
131.103 Request for an Advisory Opinion
(a) A request for an advisory opinion shall include, at a minimum, sufficient information in order for the board to provide a complete response to the request. The requestor must provide the following, as applicable:
(1) requestor contact information,
(2) affected section(s) of the Act and/or board rules,
(3) description of the situation,
(4) reason engineering advisory opinion is requested,
(5) parties or stakeholders that will be affected by the opinion, if known, and
(6) any known, pending litigation involving the situation
(b) A request for an advisory opinion shall be in writing. A written request may be mailed, sent via electronic mail, hand-delivered, or faxed to the board at the agency office.
Source Note: The provisions of this 131.103 amended to be effective September 8, 2005.
131.105 Board Initiated Opinion
When a majority of the board determines that an opinion would be in the public interest or in the interest of any person or persons within the jurisdiction of the board, the board may on its own motion issue an advisory opinion.
Source Note: The provisions of this 131.105 amended to be effective May 20, 2004.
131.107 Receipt, Review, and Processing of a Request
(a) The board, through the policy advisory opinion committee, shall review all requests for advisory opinions.
(b) Upon receipt of a request for an engineering advisory opinion, executive director will date stamp the request, issue an EAOR tracking number, and make a preliminary determination on the board's jurisdiction regarding the request.
(c) The executive director will review the request to determine if the request can be answered by reference to the plain language of a statute or a board rule, or if the request has already been answered by the board.
(d) If the executive director determines the board has no jurisdiction or the request can be answered by reference to a statute, board rule, or previous opinion, the executive director shall prepare a written response for the policy advisory opinion committee addressed to the person making the request that cites the jurisdictional authority, the language of the statute or rule, or the prior determination.
(e) The policy advisory opinion committee shall review all requests for advisory opinions and may:
(1) approve jurisdiction and reference responses, as applicable, and report a summary of these actions to the full board for ratification; or
(2) determine the request warrants an advisory opinion and to proceed with developing an advisory opinion.
(f) If a request warrants an advisory opinion, the policy advisory opinion committee shall determine if further information is needed to draft an advisory opinion. If additional information is needed, the committee shall determine what information is needed and instruct the executive director to obtain expert resources, hold stakeholder meetings, or perform other research and investigation as necessary to provide the information required to draft an advisory opinion and report back to the committee.
(g) If during the process, the committee determines that the request is one the board cannot answer, then the committee shall have the executive director provide written notification to the person making the request of the reason the request will not be answered and this response shall be ratified by the full board.
(h) When sufficient information exists, the policy advisory opinion committee shall draft an engineering advisory opinion and post the request and draft opinion on the agency website and in the Texas Register for comments.
(i) Draft opinions shall be posted for at least 30 days and any interested person may submit written comments concerning an advisory opinion request. Comments submitted should reference the EAOR number.
(j) Upon completion of the comment period, the policy advisory opinion committee shall consider any comments made and draft a final opinion recommendation to be presented for review and adoption by the full board.
(k) The full board shall review and adopt the engineering policy advisory opinion or determine if further revisions are required and refer the request back to the policy advisory opinion committee with guidance on proceeding with completing the request.
(l) Each final engineering advisory opinion adopted by the full board shall be published in summary form in the Texas Register. (m) To reconsider or revise an issued advisory opinion, the board shall process the reconsideration or revision as a new request and follow the process as set forth in this section.
Source Note: The provisions of this 131.107 amended to be effective May 20, 2004.
131.109 Compilation of Advisory Opinions
The board shall number and classify each final engineering advisory opinion issued and shall annually compile a summary of advisory opinions in a single reference document made available on the Internet. The executive director may also publish and provide copies of advisory opinions in other formats as may be in the public interest.
Source Note: The provisions of this 131.109 amended to be effective May 20, 2004.
131.111 Time Period
The board shall respond to requests for an engineering advisory opinion within 180 days after the date the board receives the written request unless the board affirmatively states the board's reason for not responding to the request within 180 days or for not responding to the request at all.
Source Note: The provisions of this 131.111 amended to be effective December 21, 2008.
Note: The board will accept written requests for Policy Advisory Opinions at any time. Although an individual may formally request a policy advisory opinion on any subject connected with the law and rules of the Texas Board of Professional Engineers, understand that the process time to completion may be quite lengthy. It is recommended that any question or issue over law and/or rule interpretation be directed to the Board staff by email, phone or fax. A prompt response will be provided.
Phone: (512) 440-7723
Fax: (512) 440-5715
Anyone can send in a written
request for a Policy Advisory Opinion. You can include the required information
in a letter, fax, or email. The board has developed a form that can be used. Please see below for the form and instructions in two different formats.
Send the Policy Advisory Opinion
Texas Board of Professional Engineers
1917 IH-35 South
Austin, TX 78741
Fax: (512) 442-5715
Current Policy Advisory Opinion Requests - View current Policy Advisory Opinion Requests and Policy Advisories already issued by the Board.