(1) Covers guidelines of the department programs that could allow for public participation but may vary in relation to resources available, public response, the nature of the issues involved. Some of the areas that this rules will pertain to are:
(a) Informational materials - the department shall provide and make accessible all available policy, program and/or technical information to enable interested or affected parties to make informed and constructive contributions toward departmental decision making. News releases and other publications may be used for this purpose as well as informational discussions and meetings with interested citizen's groups. Special efforts shall be made to summarize complex technical materials for public and media use.
(b) Assistance to the public - the department will have a procedure for providing technical and informational assistance to public groups for citizen education, committee workshop training, dissemination of information to concerned groups and individuals. Requests for information shall be promptly handled.
(c) Consultation - the department shall have a procedure for early consultation and exchange of views with interested persons and organizations on development or revision of plans, programs or other significant activity prior to decision making. Advisory groups, ad hoc committees or workshop meetings may serve this purpose.
(d) Notification - the department shall maintain a current list of interested persons and organizations including anyone who has requested inclusion on such a list for the distribution of information such as that listed in paragraph (a) of this rule. The department shall, in addition, notify any interested persons of any public hearing. Further internal procedures for receiving and ensuring proper consideration of evidence and information submitted by citizens will be developed.
(e) Other measures - the listing of specific means in this section shall not preclude additional techniques for obtaining, encouraging or assisting public participation.
History: Sec. 2-3-103 MCA; IMP, Sec. 2-3-103 MCA; NEW, 1980 MAR p. 1698, Eff. 6/27/80.