Information on Drafting Regulations Under the Administrative Procedures Act


The Administrative Procedures Act (APA), City Code, General Provisions, Title 4, requires City regulations to be submitted for review and approval before they can be posted for public comment or declared legally effective. This webpage provides links to the resources needed to draft proposed regulations in the APA format.

Regulations Affected by the APA

The APA only applies to agency rules that regulate public behavior or affect public rights.  It does not regulate a statement, policy or procedure that pertains only to the internal management or operations of an agency, such as an agency’s organizational affairs or its employee rules of conduct, training, and discipline.   

The Law Department is aware that some regulations may seek to regulate both public behavior and internal operations in the same document. In these instances, in order to reduce the work involved in complying with the APA, agencies may wish to consider separating the provisions that regulate public behavior from internally facing provisions. This bifurcation is not an APA requirement, however.  

Drafting Regulations

The APA requires City regulations to be drafted in the same style required by the Code of Maryland Regulation (COMAR) with a few modifications.  To guide you in the drafting process:

  1. Review the Style Manual for Regulations.  
  2. View regulations in COMAR format in the COBRA section on the DLR website.
  3. Review the COBRA Table of Contents. The TOC establishes the Title under which an agency's regulations will be listed in the Code of Baltimore Regulations, Annotated (COBRA).  For example, regulations of the Department of Transportation will be listed under Title 14.  The title of each DOT regulation therefore will always begin with the number 14. Note that every new regulatory topic will be listed under a unique subtitle.  

Questions about the APA drafting style should be directed to the Department of Legislative Reference.

Questions about the legality of a proposed regulation can be emailed to Michele Toth.