(1) The following outlines the process that libraries need to follow if they are denied a waiver of one or more of the standards from above.
(a) Any public library shall have the right to appeal. The request for the appeal shall be made to the State Librarian at P.O. Box 201800, Helena, MT 59620-1800 ((406) 444-3115) within 12 working days of the receipt of the letter denying payment.
(b) Upon receiving a notice of appeal, the state librarian, acting on behalf of the commission, shall convene an independent review committee. The committee shall consist of:
(i) a member named by the appellant who is not a member of the appellant's library staff, library board, or city or county commission;
(ii) a member chosen by the chair of the State Library Commission, who is not a commissioner or a state library staff member; and
(iii) a member from the library community who is not affiliated with the appellant's library, the State Library Commission, or state library staff, named by the president-elect of the Montana Library Association.
(c) The independent review committee shall hear the appeal based on the following procedures:
(i) both the appellant and the state library shall have equal opportunity to present testimony, either in writing or orally, and to respond to points raised by the other party.
(ii) the independent review committee shall make its findings and recommendations to the Montana State Library Commission, which shall take final action on the appeal.
(d) The commission can affirm, deny, or modify the findings and recommendations of the independent review committee.
(e) The state librarian, upon final determination of the appeal by the commission, shall notify the appellant in writing. This notice shall conclude the appeals process.
(f) Neither the independent review process nor any subsequent review and decision process of the commission is a contested case, and common law and statutory rules of evidence do not apply to these proceedings.