(1) An agency may employ or enter into a contract for the services of an organization or individual to serve as a convenor or facilitator for a negotiated rulemaking committee or may use the services of a state employee to act as a convenor or facilitator for a committee.
(2) An agency shall determine whether a person under consideration as a convenor or facilitator of a negotiated rulemaking committee has any financial or other interest that would preclude the person from serving in an impartial and independent manner. A person disqualified under this criterion shall be dropped from further consideration.
(3) Members of a negotiated rulemaking committee shall be responsible for their own expenses of participation. However, an agency may pay for a committee member's actual and necessary expenses incurred in serving on the committee as provided in sections 81-1174 to 81-1177 and a reasonable per diem rate of compensation if:
(a) The committee member certifies a lack of adequate financial resources to participate in the committee; and
(b) The agency determines that the committee member's participation in the committee is necessary to ensure an adequate representation of the interests of the members.
(4) An agency may accept grants or gifts from any source to fund the negotiated rulemaking process if:
(a) Information on the name of the person giving the grant or gift and the amount of the grant or gift is available to the public;
(b) The grant or gift is given to and accepted by the agency without placing any condition on the membership of a negotiated rulemaking committee or the outcome of the negotiated rulemaking process; and
(c) There is consensus among the members of the negotiated rulemaking committee that the acceptance of the grant or gift will not diminish the integrity of the negotiated rulemaking process.