(1) An agency may establish a negotiated rulemaking committee to negotiate and develop a proposed rule if the agency director determines that the use of the negotiated rulemaking procedure is in the public interest. In making that determination, the agency director shall consider whether:
(a) There is a need for a rule;
(b) There are a limited number of identifiable interests that will be significantly affected by the rule;
(c) There is a reasonable likelihood that a committee can be convened with a balanced representation of persons who:
(i) Can adequately represent the interests identified; and
(ii) Are willing to negotiate in good faith to reach a consensus on the proposed rule;
(d) There is a reasonable likelihood that a committee will reach a consensus on the proposed rule within a fixed period of time;
(e) The negotiated rulemaking procedure will not unreasonably delay the notice of proposed formal rulemaking and the issuance of the final rule pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act;
(f) The agency has adequate resources and is willing to commit those resources, including technical assistance, to the committee; and
(g) The agency, to the maximum extent possible consistent with the legal obligations of the agency, will use the consensus of the committee as the basis for the rule proposed by the agency in the formal rulemaking process of the Administrative Procedure Act.
(2) An agency may use the services of a convenor to assist in making the determination of need pursuant to subsection (1) of this section and to assist the agency in:
(a) Identifying persons who will be significantly affected by a proposed rule; and
(b) Conducting discussions with affected persons on the issues of concern and ascertaining whether the establishment of a negotiated rulemaking committee is feasible and appropriate for the particular rulemaking.
(3) The convenor shall report findings and make recommendations to the agency. Upon request of the agency, the convenor shall ascertain the names of persons who are willing and qualified to represent the interests that will be significantly affected by the proposed rule. The report and any recommendations of the convenor shall be made available to the public upon request.