What is a rule?

Answer: A rule is an agency statement that implements, interprets, applies or enforces laws or policies. A rule that is within the agency’s authority to adopt has the force and effect of law.

What is the difference between a rule and a law?

Answer: A rule is adopted by an agency; a statute is a law that is passed by the state Legislature

Why are rules necessary?

Answer: Rules may be necessary to further clarify laws that impact the agency and explain how the agency will implement specific statutes or carry out its duties.  Rules are also necessary for an agency to maintain transparency to the public regarding how the agency operates and performs certain functions that effect the public.

What is a proposed rule?

Answer: A proposed rule is a rule that a state agency intends to adopt. The state agency provides notice of this intention by publishing a notice of the proposed rule in the Texas Register. The notice includes a request for comments on the proposed rule.

What is the Texas Register?

Answer: The Texas Register is a weekly publication that serves as the journal of state agency rulemaking for Texas. The Secretary of State publishes a new issue of the Texas Register each Friday. Information published in the Texas Register includes proposed, adopted, withdrawn and emergency rule actions; notices of state agency review of agency rules; governor's appointments; attorney general opinions; and miscellaneous documents such as requests for proposals.

How do I submit my comments on a proposed rule?

Answer: To let the public know about a rulemaking action, such as new, amended or repealed rules, an agency publishes a notice in the Texas Register. The public can review and comment on the proposed rule. The Administrative Procedure Act (Texas Government Code, Chapter 2001) requires the notice published in the Texas Register to include a brief explanation of the proposed rule and a request for comments from any interested person. Those who would like to submit written or electronic comments on proposed rules published in the Texas Register, should review the notice that includes instructions for submitting comments regarding the rule to the agency, including the date by which comments must be submitted.

When can I submit a public comment on a proposed rule?

Answer: The public comment period on a rule begins when the proposed rule is published in the Texas Register. The comment period lasts 30 days unless another date is specified.

What is the Texas Administrative Code?

Answer: The Texas Administrative Code (TAC) is a compilation of all state agency rules in Texas. All Texas state agency rules, including DFPS rules, can be found on the Secretary of State’s website.

Where can I see all the Department of Family Protective Services (DFPS) Texas Administrative Codes?

Answer: The DFPS TAC rules are categorized in Title 40 (Social Services and Assistance), Part 19 (Department of Family and Protective Services). All of the DFPS rules may be found here.