TITLE 22. EXAMINING BOARDS

PART 1. TEXAS BOARD OF ARCHITECTURAL EXAMINERS

CHAPTER 7. ADMINISTRATION

22 TAC §7.10

Introduction. The Texas Board of Architectural Examiners (Board) adopts amendments to §7.10, concerning General Fees. The amendments are adopted without changes to the proposed text as published in the September 30, 2016, issue of the Texas Register (41 TexReg 7657).

Reasoned Justification. The amendments to §7.10 revise the Board's fee schedule to implement a change in the fees charged by Texas.gov, the Board's third-party provider of online payment services. By updating the fee schedule to be compliant with the charges imposed by Texas.gov, the Board is able to continue collecting online payments. This results in greater convenience for registrants who choose to make online payments. Additionally, the Board benefits from a decrease in costs associate with processing payments by check.

Additionally, the amendments institute a $3 surcharge to fund the examination fee scholarship program. Under Occupations Code §1051.651, the Board is required to administer a scholarship program to offset the cost of the examination fee for qualifying applicants for architectural registration. The law requires this program to be funded through fees collected at the time of renewal for active and inactive architectural registrations held by Texas residents. Adoption of this rule allows the Board to satisfy the legal requirement to fund the examination fee scholarship program. In creating the program, the legislature identified the following public benefits to be served by the program: promoting the professional needs of the state, increasing the number of highly trained and educated architects available to serve the residents of the state, improving the state's business environment and encouraging economic development, and identifying, recognizing, and supporting outstanding applicants who plan to pursue careers in architecture. Adoption of this rule will decrease the cost to complete the registration examination for scholarship recipients.

Summary of Comments and Agency Response. The Board did not receive any comments on the proposed rule.

Statutory Authority.

The amendment of §7.10 is adopted under §§1051.202, 1051.302, 1051.305, 1051.355, 1051.357, 1051.651, 1051.653, 1051.705, 1052.054, 1052.154, 1052.155, 1053.052, and 1053.156 of the Texas Occupations Code. The cited statutes provide the Board with obligations and authorizations with respect to the collection of fees, as follows:

Section 1051.202 authorizes the Board to adopt reasonable rules as necessary to regulate the practices of architecture, landscape architecture, and interior design.

Section 1051.305 authorizes the Board to set a fee in a reasonable and necessary amount to cover the cost of processing and investigating an application for registration by reciprocity.

Section 1051.355 requires the Board to prescribe a renewal fee for a registrant on inactive status. The law requires the Board to set the fee at an amount determined by the board as reasonable and necessary to cover the costs of administering inactive registrations and, for architect registrants, an additional amount required to fund the examination fee scholarship program as described under §1051.651.

Section 1051.357 requires the Board to set a renewal fee for architect registrants on emeritus status in an amount reasonable and necessary to recover the costs to administer such registrations. The Board interprets this provision to mean that emeritus architects are not subject to any surcharge to fund the examination fee scholarship program.

Section 1051.651 authorizes the Board to set a fee for a board action involving an administrative expense in an amount that is reasonable and necessary to cover the cost of administering Chapter 1051 (Architects), and requires the Board to set the renewal fee for architect registrants. For residents of Texas, the Board is directed to set the renewal fee the amount determined by the board as reasonable and necessary to cover administrative costs, and an amount determined annually by the board as reasonable and necessary for the administration of the examination fee scholarship program under §1051.653. For non-residents, the Board is directed to set the fee in an amount determined by the Board. The Board interprets this provision to mean that non-residents are not subject to any surcharge to fund the examination fee scholarship program. Additionally, §1051.651 authorizes the Board to accept payment of a fee by electronic means, and to charge a fee for such collection in an amount that is reasonably related to the expense incurred by the board in processing the payment.

Section 1051.653 directs the Board to administer a scholarship program for applicants for architect registration, and to fund the program with the amount added to each renewal fee under §1051.651.

Section 1051.705 requires the Board to set an examination fee in an amount reasonable and necessary to cover the cost of the examination for architect registration, and under §1051.302, the board may delegate the collection of any examination fee prescribed by the board to the person who conducts the examination.

Section 1052.054 authorizes the Board to set a fee for a board action involving an administrative expense in an amount that is reasonable and necessary to cover the cost of administering Chapter 1052 (Landscape Architects), and requires the Board to set the renewal fee for landscape architect registrants. Additionally, §1052.054 authorizes the Board to accept payment of a fee by electronic means, and to charge a fee for such collection in an amount that is reasonably related to the expense incurred by the board in processing the payment.

Section 1052.154 requires the Board to set an examination fee in an amount reasonable and necessary to cover the cost of the examination for landscape architect registration, and under §1051.302, the board may delegate the collection of any examination fee prescribed by the board to the person who conducts the examination.

Section 1052.155 requires the Board to set a renewal fee for landscape architect registrants on emeritus status in an amount reasonable and necessary to recover the costs to administer such registrations.

Section 1053.052 requires the Board to set certain fees, in amounts that are reasonable and necessary to cover the costs of administering Chapter 1053 (Interior Designers), including a registration application fee, an annual registration renewal fee, a reciprocal registration fee and an examination fee. Furthermore, §1053.052 authorizes the Board to set fees for other services, in amounts that are reasonable and necessary to cover the costs of administering Chapter 1053, including providing a duplicate certificate of registration, providing a roster of interior designers, reinstating a revoked or suspended certificate of registration, and performing any other board action involving an administrative expense. Additionally, §1053.052 authorizes the Board to accept payment of a fee by electronic means, and to charge a fee for such collection in an amount that is reasonably related to the expense incurred by the board in processing the payment.

Section 1053.156 requires the Board to set a renewal fee for interior designer registrants on emeritus status in an amount reasonable and necessary to recover the costs to administer such registrations.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 8, 2016.

TRD-201606408

Lance Brenton

General Counsel

Texas Board of Architectural Examiners

Effective date: January 1, 2017

Proposal publication date: September 30, 2016

For further information, please call: (512) 305-8519