Exemptions to the APA

Exemptions can be found in the APA and sometimes in other provisions of the California Codes. Some of the most common exemptions are:

  • Local Rule: Rules issued by the director (now Secretary) of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation “applying solely to a particular prison or other correctional facility” are deemed not to be “regulations” as defined in Section 11342.600 of the Government Code if certain criteria are met. (Government Code section 5058(c).)
  • Internal Management: “A regulation that relates only to the internal management of the state agency.” (Government Code section 11340.9(d).)
  • Forms: “A form prescribed by a state agency or any instructions relating to the use of the form, but this provision is not a limitation on any requirement that a regulation be adopted pursuant to this chapter when one is needed to implement the law under which the form is issued.” (Government Code section 11340.9(c).)
  • Audit Guidelines: “A regulation that establishes criteria or guidelines to be used by the staff of an agency in performing an audit, investigation, examination, or inspection, settling a commercial dispute, negotiating a commercial arrangement, or in the defense, prosecution, or settlement of a case, if disclosure of the criteria or guidelines would do any of the following:
    • Enable a law violator to avoid detection.
    • Facilitate disregard of requirements imposed by law.
    • Give clearly improper advantage to a person who is in an adverse position to the state.” (Government Code section 11340.9(e).)
  • Only Legally Tenable Interpretation: “A regulation that embodies the only legally tenable interpretation of a provision of law.” (Government Code section 11340.9(f).)
  • Rate, Price, Tariff: “A regulation that establishes or fixes rates, prices, or tariffs.” (Government Code section 11340.9(g).)
  • Legal Ruling Of Tax Counsel: “A legal ruling of counsel issued by the Franchise Tax Board or State Board of Equalization.” (Government Code section 11340.9(b).)
  • Precedent Decision: A quasi-judicial decision by a state agency that is designated pursuant to Government Code section 11425.60 as a precedent decision is expressly exempt from being adopted as a “regulation” pursuant to the APA.