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Subject 590-9-1 RULES OF GENERAL APPLICABILITY

Rule 590-9-1-.01 Definitions

(1) Branch office. As used herein, all references to "branch office" shall mean any commercial location where the business of a paid solicitor or charitable organization is conducted.
(2) Certified financial statement. As used herein, all references to "certified financial statement" shall mean financial statements, including a balance sheet, income statement, and statement of cash flows, or the equivalent in the case of a not-for-profit entity, and all notes to the financial statements, audited by an independent certified public accountant in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards. The certified financial statement must be accompanied by an independent auditor's report, which shall include an expression of professional opinion by the independent certified public accountant as to whether the financial statement presents fairly, in all material respects, the financial condition of the entity in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles. The independent certified public accountant must be duly registered and in good standing as a certified public accountant, under all applicable laws, rules and regulations of the place of the independent certified public accountant's place of residence or principal place of business.
(3) Code or Act. As used herein, all citations to "Code" or "Act" refer to the Georgia Charitable Solicitations Act of 1988, as amended, as set forth in Chapter 17 of Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated. (O.C.G.A. § 43-17-1et seq.)
(4) Division. As used herein, all references to "Division" shall mean the Division of Securities and Business Regulation of the Office of the Secretary of State. This is the organizational division that is delegated authority by the Secretary of State to administer the provisions of the Code.
(5) Division Director. As used herein, all references to the "Division Director" shall mean the Division Director appointed by the Secretary of State to oversee the administration of the Code as provided in O.C.G.A. § 43-17-10. The term "Division Director" shall refer to the Director of the Securities and Business Regulation Division of the Office of the Secretary of State, or such other person as the Secretary of State may by order designate.
(6) Educational institutions. As used in the Act, all references to "Educational institutions" shall mean an organization organized and operated exclusively for educational purposes and which normally maintains a regular faculty and curriculum and normally has a regularly enrolled body of pupils or students in attendance at the place where its educational activities are regularly carried on.
(7) Secretary of State. As used herein, all references to the "Secretary of State" shall mean the Secretary of State of the State of Georgia.

Rule 590-9-1-.02 Delegation to Division Director

The Division Director is empowered to sign all documents, make all decisions and perform all acts under the Code. This power may be exercised by the Division Director and all acts of the Division Director are of the same force and effect as such acts would be if performed by the Secretary of State.

Rule 590-9-1-.03 Administrative Declaratory Rulings; No-Action Letters; Informal Interpretations

(1) Declaratory Rulings.
(a) Availability. Any person whose legal rights will be interfered with or impaired by the application of any statutory provision or any rule or order of the Secretary of State may petition the Secretary of State and request a declaratory ruling thereon. The Secretary of State will not render advisory opinions, resolve questions which have become moot or are abstract or hypothetical, or otherwise act hereunder except with respect to such actual controversies or other cases upon which a superior court would be required to act under the Georgia declaratory judgment statutes as construed by the appellate court of Georgia.
(b) Form of Petition. Each such petition shall be filed with the Secretary of State in writing and shall state:
1. the name and mailing address of the petitioner;
2. the full text of the statute, rule, or order upon which a ruling is requested;
3. a paragraphed statement of all pertinent and existing facts necessary to make a determination of the applicability of the quoted statute or rule;
4. the petitioner's contention, if any, as to the aforesaid applicability with citation of legal authorities, if any, which authorize, support, or require a decision in accordance therewith;
5. a statement setting forth in detail the petitioner's interest in the matter and why and how the petitioner is uncertain or insecure with respect to his/her rights. The petition shall be verified under oath by, or in proper behalf of, the petitioner.
(c) Proceedings on Petition. If the Secretary of State shall determine that a decision can be rendered on the face of the petition without further proceedings, a summary decision shall be rendered thereon. Otherwise, all parties known by the Secretary of State to have a legal interest in the matter shall be notified and given an opportunity to be heard in an informal hearing.
(2) No-Action Letters.
(a) Availability. Any person may request in writing a statement from the Division Director's staff that, on the basis of the facts stated in such written request, the staff would not recommend enforcement action. The Division Director's staff will not respond to requests related to unnamed companies or persons or to hypothetical situations.
(b) Form of No-Action request. Each such no-action request shall be filed with the Secretary of State in writing and shall:
1. State the specific subsection of the particular statute to which the request pertains;
2. Provide the names of the persons involved;
3. Limit the request to the particular situation involving the problem at hand and not attempt to include every possible type of situation which may arise in the future;
4. State concisely and to the point all of the facts necessary to reach a conclusion in the matter; and
5. Indicate why the requesting party thinks a problem exists, indicate the requesting party's opinion in the matter, and indicate the basis for the requesting party's opinion.
(3) Informal Interpretations. Any request presented in any manner other than in accordance with the provisions of paragraphs (1) or (2) above shall not be deemed to be filed as a petition for declaratory ruling or request for a no-action letter and shall be dealt with in any manner that the Secretary of State may deem appropriate.

Rule 590-9-1-.04 Petition for Adoption of Rules

(1) Form of petition. Each petition for adoption of rules made pursuant to the Georgia Administrative Procedure Act shall be filed with the Secretary of State in writing and shall state:
(a) The name and post office address of the petitioner;
(b) The full text of the rule requested to be amended or repealed, or the full text of the rule desired to be promulgated;
(c) A paragraphed statement of the reason such rule should be amended, repealed or promulgated, including a statement of all pertinent existing facts as to petitioner's interest in the matter;
(d) Citations of legal authorities, if any, which authorize, support, or require the action requested by petitioner. The petition should be verified under oath by, or in proper behalf of, the petitioner.
(2) Proceeding on petition. Upon receipt of the petition, the Secretary of State shall decide upon the action to be taken. Within sixty (60) days after receipt of the petition, the Secretary of State shall inform the petitioner by mail of the decision reached and shall either decline to take the action requested, stating the reasons for so declining, or shall initiate rule-making or rule-changing proceedings in accordance with the Georgia Administrative Procedure Act.

Rule 590-9-1-.05 Contested Cases

Contested cases shall be heard by the Secretary of State or the Division Director or any person authorized by law pursuant to the Code and/or Georgia Administrative Procedure Act and shall be conducted in accordance with the procedures provided therein and the following procedures:

(a) Initiating a contested case. Any person who is legally entitled to contest a ruling or order of the Secretary of State may do so by filing with the Secretary of State a request for hearing which shall contain the following:
1. a title which indicates the nature of the proceedings;
2. the complete name and address of the person or persons on whose behalf the request is filed;
3. the name and address of all other persons known to have a legal interest in the proceedings;
4. if the person or persons on whose behalf the request is filed are represented by counsel, the name and address of counsel;
5. a clear and concise statement of the facts upon which the contested case arises;
6. a prayer setting forth the relief sought;
7. a statement of the grounds upon which the person contends he is entitled to the relief sought.
(b) Request for hearing. To be entitled to a hearing as a matter of right, a person must, within ten (10) days of delivery of a notice of opportunity for hearing file with the Secretary of State a request for hearing as described in paragraph (a) above. At the discretion of the Secretary of State, extensions of time and amendments to requests may be allowed.
(c) Responses to requests for hearing. The Secretary of State will respond to all requests for hearings with a notice scheduling a hearing or with an order denying the request for hearing and stating the reasons for the denial.
(d) Motions. Any application to the Secretary of State to enter any order or to take any action after the filing of a request for hearing shall be by motion, which, unless made during a hearing, shall be made in writing, shall state specifically the grounds therefore, and shall set forth the action or order sought. No motions shall be ruled upon except when the case in chief is ruled upon unless the moving party specifically requests a ruling at some other time and the Secretary of State deems such ruling appropriate.
(e) Informal conferences.
1. A party who requests a hearing as provided in (a) above will be accorded a formal hearing pursuant to the Georgia Administrative Procedure Act. If a party desires, he may request an informal conference with the Secretary of State or a representative In lieu of or prior to a formal hearing.
2. The receipt by the Secretary of State of a written request for an informal conference will toll, until the date that such conference is scheduled by the Secretary of State, the running of the times for requesting and setting hearings. In determining the number of days which have run, neither the day on which the request for informal conference is received by the Secretary of State nor the day on which the conference is scheduled shall be counted.
(f) Any request for conference or hearing which is not in the form specified in paragraph (a) above and does not specifically request a formal hearing will be deemed a request for informal conference and shall be acted on as such.

Rule 590-9-1-.06 Records

(1) All applications, records, correspondence, annual reports, and other documents filed with the Secretary of State pursuant to the various provisions of the Code may be maintained in original form or by means of microfilm, microfiche, microphotographic reproduction, photographic reproduction, word processing, computerization, or other methods acceptable to the Secretary of State.
(2) All records, correspondence, annual reports, or other documents produced pursuant to a subpoena duces tecum issued by the Secretary of State may be destroyed by order of the Secretary of State if a demand for return is not made by the person producing such records within three (3) years from the time the investigative file is closed.
(3) Any photographic, microphotographic, or computer reproduction of any original writing or record filed with or maintained by the Secretary of State shall be deemed to have been made in the regular course of business.

Rule 590-9-1-.07 Confidentiality of Investigations

All investigations and investigative proceedings shall be private, unless the Secretary of State determines that the protection of the public requires that all or part of an investigation or investigative proceeding be made public.

Rule 590-9-1-.08 Non-payment of Statutory Fees or Administrative Penalties

(1) Every registration, annual report, filing, or administrative penalty required or imposed pursuant to the Code or any Rule or Regulation promulgated thereunder shall be accompanied by the required fee. No registration, annual report, filing or administrative penalty required pursuant to the Code or any Rule shall be considered officially received by the Secretary of State without the required fee.
(2) If a check submitted in payment of a fee is dishonored, the Secretary of State shall promptly notify the applicant, registrant or filer of the dishonor. The applicant, registrant or filer shall have fifteen (15) days from the date of notice to pay the required fee. If such payment is not made, the Secretary of State may take any action authorized by the Act.
(3) All fees are nonrefundable.

Rule 590-9-1-.09 Repealed