10 Sep Discussion About A Proposed Rule §41.22
The September 6th TABC stakeholders’ meeting was the most interesting meeting this week and for me the most interesting since my retirement. This meeting was to discuss a possible new Rule 41.22 which in essence would be a rule requiring permit holders to perform their own compliance inspections. Click here to see the discussion draft download pdf file.
This proposed rule allows an officer of a license/permit holder to either complete the compliance inspection of their location themselves or delegate that authority to an employee/agent. General Counsel Clark Smith says this allows you to perform the inspection at your convenience rather than being interrupted during prime business hours by a TABC employee. In a nutshell, here is the summary of the rule:
- TABC will make notification of the required inspection report annually
- License/permit holder will have 90 days to submit the report
- If the compliance report is not filed within 90 days, TABC may issue a warning
- If the compliance report is not sent 30 days after the warning, TABC may take administrative action and assess a surcharge of $250 to recover cost associated with a required physical inspection
- If $250 surcharge not paid, TABC may deny renewal
- The compliance report does not replace any physical open inspection or investigation based on a complaint, violation of the Code/Rules or a public safety-related education initiative.
The discussions of the proposed rule left me with the following understanding:
- The current goal is 100% of the retail population will receive the notice of the required report in January. Wholesalers will follow in roughly March with manufactures a few months following that.
- The report must be submitted by an officer or an “authorized agent.” If the officer does not want to do the inspection themselves, they may pass that “authorization” to an agent. Authorization may (and perhaps must) be given by location.
- The “authorized agent” is NOT the same person that is authorized to file your renewal. This inspection report is being captured in a separate computer system so it will require separate authorization.
- The inspection (at this time), may only be completed via a Mobile Device and will require the upload of pictures as part of the inspection report.
- Inspection reports will differ based on permit/license type.
- Questions to be answered on the Mobile Device will not be open-ended questions but rather yes-no answers which will prompt additional questions based on the response.
- The $250 “surcharge” language will be changed to show a $250 “fee.”
- The $250 “fee” was determined based on the average cost of an auditor/enforcement agent performing the necessary inspection.
- TABC doesn’t know how this will impact their Performance Measures to the LBB
- TABC is happy to walk thru the system with any interested parties individually to better understand their plans, but they have no immediate plans to hold another stakeholders meeting showing the questions or the system before the rule being consider the September 25th Commission meeting.
- TABC does plan on having educational meeting and literature available to assist license/permit holders conducting their required inspection once the rule is passed.
So you’re probably looking at all this with just a little bit of disbelief but take some time to really ponder and study this and then engage in discussion with TABC. This meeting and rule discussion was the first public mention of self-inspections (to my knowledge), so I encourage you to become more informed. TABC encourages engagement and wants to hear your questions and concerns. Their contact information may be found at www.tabc.texas.gov, or you may email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them at Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, PO Box 13127, Austin, Texas 78711
Without a crystal ball its hard to say what this new rule will look like when staff presents it at the next Commission meeting. Based on past meeting, public comments are not allowed until after the rule is already approved for publication so going to the Commission meeting to weigh in is pretty much a waste of time. The time to engage is now!
You may check back here to review my comments about this proposed rule after I do some more research and check the pulse of many of you! To share your thoughts, please feel free to reach out and let’s discuss how this may impact your business.
Let us know your opinions in the comments below.