"The Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) is an independent quasi-judicial agency that was established to provide a source of independent Administrative Law Judges (ALJ) to preside in administrative law contested cases. It was created to ensure that the functions of rulemaking, investigation, advocacy and adjudication are not combined in the administrative process. As a consequence of this policy, North Carolina operates under what is referred to as the "central panel" system of administrative adjudication. This simply means that the ten Administrative Law Judges, who are employed by OAH, work for the central panel rather than the state agency.
The public is notified of OAH agency rulemaking hearings through a notice published in the North Carolina Register. This notice provides a means for interested parties to be present and debate the merits of a proposed rule before adoption by the agency.
"After the formal adoption, review by the Rules Review Commission and Joint Legislative Administrative Procedure Oversight Committee (unless a bill is enacted by the General Assembly specifically disapproving a proposed rule), the rule is then filed for codification in the North Carolina Administrative Code. All of the rules adopted by State agencies are published in the Administrative Code."