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TITLE 22EXAMINING BOARDS
PART 17TEXAS STATE BOARD OF PLUMBING EXAMINERS
CHAPTER 367ENFORCEMENT
RULE §367.15Investigating Complaints

(a) Purpose and Reference to Applicable Law. This section implements the Board's processes and procedures for investigating complaints alleging violations of the PLL or Board Rules in accordance with §1301.304 of the PLL. The Board will investigate complaints from the public validly filed in accordance with Board Rule §367.13 of this title. The Board may also open a complaint investigation on its own initiative. This section also implements the Board's investigative procedures for prioritizing the investigation of complaints in accordance with §1301.303(e) of the PLL.

(b) The Board may utilize its Field Representatives, Director of Enforcement or Enforcement Committee, as appropriate, to investigate an alleged violation of the Plumbing License Law or Board Rules by a person who:

  (1) is registered or licensed under the PLL;

  (2) is the owner of a company subject to the PLL;

  (3) performs plumbing without holding a registration or license under the PLL; or

  (4) advertises or otherwise offers to perform plumbing work without holding a license under the PLL.

(c) Prioritization of Complaints. Field Representatives will prioritize the investigation of complaints filed with the Board above their other enforcement activities and duties. Specifically, complaints will be investigated based on the investigation priority number they are assigned in accordance with Board Rule §367.14(b)(2) of this title, as follows:

  (1) Priority 1 complaints will be investigated before any other complaints, and will be investigated in order based upon the potential for harm to the public's health or safety, from greatest to least, as determined in the sole discretion of the Field Representative to whom the complaint is assigned, in consultation with the Director of Enforcement.

  (2) Priority 2 complaints will be investigated before any Priority 3 complaints, and will be investigated in order based upon the potential for harm to the public's health or safety, from greatest to least, as determined in the sole discretion of the Field Representative to whom the complaint is assigned, in consultation with the Director of Enforcement.

  (3) Priority 3 complaints will be investigated when there are not Priority 1 or Priority 2 cases open and pending and requiring active investigation by the Field Representative to whom they are assigned, except as provided by paragraph (5) of this subsection.

  (4) The Field Representative will not conduct on-site license and registrations checks for so long as a Priority 1 or Priority 2 complaint to which they have been assigned is open and pending and requires active investigation by the Field Representative, except as provided by paragraph (6) of this subsection.

  (5) The Field Investigator may investigate a complaint having a higher investigation priority number contemporaneously with the investigation of a lower investigation priority number; provided, the complaints arise from the same area or will otherwise result in gains in administrative efficiency without imposing substantial delays in investigating complaints with a lower investigation priority number that would expose the public to additional risk of harm, as determined in the sole discretion of the Field Representative, in consultation with the Director of Enforcement.

  (6) The Field Investigator may conduct on-site license and registration checks contemporaneously with and en route to investigating a complaint; provided the Field Representative determines that said checks will not impose substantial delays in investigating complaints filed with the Board and will not expose the public to additional risk of harm, as determined in the sole discretion of the Field Representative, in consultation with the Director of Enforcement.

(d) Cooperation Required. Licensees and registrants must cooperate with the Board and its Field Representatives during the investigation of a complaint.

(e) Complaint Statistics. The Director of Enforcement will maintain an electronic or hard copy case file for each written complaint alleging a violation of the Plumbing License Law or Board Rules filed with the Board and determined to be within the Board's jurisdiction in accordance with Board Rule §367.14 of this title (relating to Processing Complaints). The files are subject to the agency's record retention schedule and must include:

  (1) the source of the complaint;

  (2) the complaint and all documents submitted under §367.13(c)(5) of this title;

  (3) the date the complaint is received by the agency;

  (4) the investigation priority number assigned pursuant to §367.14(b)(2) this title;

  (5) the evidence collected during the investigation of the complaint;

  (6) the geographic area, including the name of any municipality and the county in which the conduct that is the subject of the complaint occurred;

  (7) the name of each person contacted in relation to the complaint;

  (8) a summary of the results of the review or investigation of the complaint; and

  (9) an explanation of the reason the file was closed, if the agency closed the file without taking action other than to investigate the complaint.

(f) The Director of Enforcement will review the statistical information available in the complaint files described in subsection (e) of this section to identify geographical areas of concern where enforcement activities should be focused and make recommendations to the Enforcement Committee and the Executive Director for addressing such areas utilizing the resources available to the agency.

(g) Following the investigation of a complaint, the Director of Enforcement will refer the findings of the investigation with recommendations for disposition of the complaint to the Enforcement Committee.


Source Note: The provisions of this §367.15 adopted to be effective August 29, 2018, 43 TexReg 5531; amended to be effective June 9, 2019, 44 TexReg 2716

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