|(a) The board shall conduct its review of a contested
case in compliance with Government Code Chapter 2001 and Occupations
Code, Chapter 2301, including the limitations on changing a finding
of fact or conclusion of law made by the administrative law judge
at SOAH, and the prohibition on considering evidence outside of the
SOAH administrative record.
(b) Board members may question any party or the department
on any matter that is relevant to the proposal for decision; however,
any questions shall be consistent with the scope of the board's authority
to take action under Government Code §2001.058(e) and Occupations
Code, Chapter 2301; any questions must be limited to evidence contained
in the SOAH administrative record; and the communication must comply
with §215.22 of this title (relating to Prohibited Communications).
In addition, board members are authorized to ask questions regarding
a request to remand the case to SOAH, including a remand to SOAH for
further consideration of the evidence.
(c) Board members may use their industry expertise
to help them understand the case and make effective decisions, consistent
with the scope of the board's authority to take action under Government
Code §2001.058(e) and Occupations Code, Chapter 2301. However,
board members are not advocates for a particular industry. Board members
are public servants who take an oath to preserve, protect, and defend
the Constitution and laws of the United States and Texas.