(1) As authorized by law, an agency may by rule provide that initial orders in specified classes of cases may become final without further agency action unless, within a specified period, (a) the agency head upon its own motion determines that the initial order should be reviewed, or (b) a party to the proceedings files a petition for administrative review of the initial order. Upon occurrence of either event, notice shall be given to all parties to the proceeding.
(2) As authorized by law, an agency head may appoint a person to review initial orders and to prepare and enter final agency orders.
(3) RCW 34.05.425 and 34.05.455 apply to any person reviewing an initial order on behalf of an agency as part of the decision process, and to persons communicating with them, to the same extent that it is applicable to presiding officers.
(4) The officer reviewing the initial order (including the agency head reviewing an initial order) is, for the purposes of this chapter, termed the reviewing officer. The reviewing officer shall exercise all the decision-making power that the reviewing officer would have had to decide and enter the final order had the reviewing officer presided over the hearing, except to the extent that the issues subject to review are limited by a provision of law or by the reviewing officer upon notice to all the parties. In reviewing findings of fact by presiding officers, the reviewing officers shall give due regard to the presiding officer's opportunity to observe the witnesses.
(5) The reviewing officer shall personally consider the whole record or such portions of it as may be cited by the parties.
(6) The reviewing officer shall afford each party an opportunity to present written argument and may afford each party an opportunity to present oral argument.
(7) The reviewing officer shall enter a final order disposing of the proceeding or remand the matter for further proceedings, with instructions to the presiding officer who entered the initial order. Upon remanding a matter, the reviewing officer shall order such temporary relief as is authorized and appropriate.
(8) A final order shall include, or incorporate by reference to the initial order, all matters required by RCW 34.05.461(3).
(9) The reviewing officer shall cause copies of the final order or order remanding the matter for further proceedings to be served upon each party.
[1989 c 175 § 20; 1988 c 288 § 419.]
| Effective date -- 1989 c 175: See note following RCW 34.05.010.|