(1) “Administrative law judge” means a person appointed under G.S. 7A-752, 7A-753, or 7A-757.
(1a) “Agency” means an agency or an officer in the executive branch of the government of this State and includes the Council of State, the Governor’s Office, a board, a commission, a department, a division, a council, and any other unit of government in the executive branch. A local unit of government is not an agency.
(1b) “Adopt” means to take final action to create, amend, or repeal a rule.
(1c) “Codifier of Rules” means the person appointed by the Chief Administrative Law Judge of the Office of Administrative Hearings pursuant to G.S. 7A-760(b).
(1d) “Commission” means the Rules Review Commission.
(2) “Contested case” means an administrative proceeding pursuant to this Chapter to resolve a dispute between an agency and another person that involves the person’s rights, duties, or privileges, including licensing or the levy of a monetary penalty. “Contested case” does not include rulemaking, declaratory rulings, or the award or denial of a scholarship, a grant, or a loan.
(2b) “Hearing officer” means a person or group of persons designated by an agency that is subject to Article 3A of this Chapter to preside in a contested case hearing conducted under that Article.
(3) “License” means any certificate, permit or other evidence, by whatever name called, of a right or privilege to engage in any activity, except licenses issued under Chapter 20 and Subchapter I of Chapter 105 of the General Statutes and occupational licenses.
(4) “Licensing” means any administrative action issuing, failing to issue, suspending, or revoking a license or occupational license. “Licensing” does not include controversies over whether an examination was fair or whether the applicant passed the examination.
(4a) “Occupational license” means any certificate, permit, or other evidence, by whatever name called, of a right or privilege to engage in a profession, occupation, or field of endeavor that is issued by an occupational licensing agency.
(4b) “Occupational licensing agency” means any board, commission, committee or other agency of the State of North Carolina which is established for the primary purpose of regulating the entry of persons into, and/or the conduct of persons within a particular profession, occupation or field of endeavor, and which is authorized to issue and revoke licenses. “Occupational licensing agency” does not include State agencies or departments which may as only a part of their regular function issue permits or licenses.
(5) “Party” means any person or agency named or admitted as a party or properly seeking as of right to be admitted as a party and includes the agency as appropriate.
(6)”Person aggrieved” means any person or group of persons of common interest directly or indirectly affected substantially in his or its person, property, or employment by an administrative decision.
(7) “Person” means any natural person, partnership, corporation, body politic and any unincorporated association, organization, or society which may sue or be sued under a common name.
(7a) “Policy” means any nonbinding interpretive statement within the delegated authority of an agency that merely defines, interprets, or explains the meaning of a statute or rule. The term includes any document issued by an agency which is intended and used purely to assist a person to comply with the law, such as a guidance document.
(8) “Residence” means domicile or principal place of business.
(8a) “Rule” means any agency regulation, standard, or statement of general applicability that implements or interprets an enactment of the General Assembly or Congress or a regulation adopted by a federal agency or that describes the procedure or practice requirements of an agency. The term includes the establishment of a fee and the amendment or repeal of a prior rule. The term does not include the following:
1. Statements concerning only the internal management of an agency or group of agencies within the same principal office or department enumerated in G.S. 143A-11 or 143B-6, including policies and procedures manuals, if the statement does not directly or substantially affect the procedural or substantive rights or duties of a person not employed by the agency or group of agencies.
2. Budgets and budget policies and procedures issued by the Director of the Budget, by the head of a department, as defined by G.S. 143A-2 or G.S. 143B-3, by an occupational licensing board, as defined by G.S. 93B-1, or by the State Board of Elections.
3. Nonbinding interpretive statements within the delegated authority of an agency that merely define, interpret, or explain the meaning of a statute or rule.
4. A form, the contents or substantive requirements of which are prescribed by rule or statute.
5. Statements of agency policy made in the context of another proceeding, including:
6. Declaratory rulings under G.S. 150B-4.
7. Orders establishing or fixing rates or tariffs.
8. Requirements, communicated to the public by the use of signs or symbols, concerning the use of public roads, bridges, ferries, buildings, or facilities.
9. Statements that set forth criteria or guidelines to be used by the staff of an agency in performing audits, investigations, or inspections; in settling financial disputes or negotiating financial arrangements; or in the defense, prosecution, or settlement of cases.
10. Scientific, architectural, or engineering standards, forms, or procedures, including design criteria and construction standards used to construct or maintain highways, bridges, or ferries.
11. Job classification standards, job qualifications, and salaries established for positions under the jurisdiction of the State Human Resources Commission.
12. Establishment of the interest rate that applies to tax assessments under G.S. 105-241.21 and the variable component of the excise tax on motor fuel under G.S. 105-449.80.G.S. 105-241.21.
13. The State Medical Facilities Plan, if the Plan has been prepared with public notice and hearing as provided in G.S. 131E-176(25), reviewed by the Commission for compliance with G.S. 131E-176(25), and approved by the Governor.
14. Standards adopted by the Office of Information Technology Services applied to information technology as defined by G.S. 147-33.81.
(8c) “Substantial evidence” means relevant evidence a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.