42 U.S.C. § 5403 - Construction and safety standards

Cite as42 U.S.C. § 5403

(a) Establishment

(1) Authority

The Secretary shall establish, by order, appropriate Federal manufactured home construction and safety standards, each of which-

(A) shall-

(i) be reasonable and practical;

(ii) meet high standards of protection consistent with the purposes of this chapter; and

(iii) be performance-based and objectively stated, unless clearly inappropriate; and

(B) except as provided in subsection (b), shall be established in accordance with the consensus standards development process.

(2) Consensus standards and regulatory development process

(A) Initial agreement

Not later than 180 days after December 27, 2000, the Secretary shall enter into a contract with an administering organization. The contractual agreement shall-

(i) terminate on the date on which a contract is entered into under subparagraph (B); and

(ii) require the administering organization to-

(I) recommend the initial members of the consensus committee under paragraph (3);

(II) administer the consensus standards development process until the termination of that agreement; and

(III) administer the consensus development and interpretation process for procedural and enforcement regulations and regulations specifying the permissible scope and conduct of monitoring until the termination of that agreement.

(B) Competitively procured contract

Upon the expiration of the 4-year period beginning on the date on which all members of the consensus committee are appointed under paragraph (3), the Secretary shall, using competitive procedures (as such term is defined in section 132 of title 41), enter into a competitively awarded contract with an administering organization. The administering organization shall administer the consensus process for the development and interpretation of the Federal standards, the procedural and enforcement regulations, and regulations specifying the permissible scope and conduct of monitoring, in accordance with this chapter.

(C) Performance review

The Secretary-

(i) shall periodically review the performance of the administering organization; and

(ii) may replace the administering organization with another qualified technical or building code organization, pursuant to competitive procedures, if the Secretary determines in writing that the administering organization is not fulfilling the terms of the agreement or contract to which the administering organization is subject or upon the expiration of the agreement or contract.

(3) Consensus committee

(A) Purpose

There is established a committee to be known as the "consensus committee", which shall, in accordance with this chapter-

(i) provide periodic recommendations to the Secretary to adopt, revise, and interpret the Federal manufactured housing construction and safety standards in accordance with this subsection;

(ii) provide periodic recommendations to the Secretary to adopt, revise, and interpret the procedural and enforcement regulations, including regulations specifying the permissible scope and conduct of monitoring in accordance with subsection (b);

(iii) be organized and carry out its business in a manner that guarantees a fair opportunity for the expression and consideration of various positions and for public participation; and

(iv) be deemed to be an advisory committee not composed of Federal employees.

(B) Membership

The consensus committee shall be composed of-

(i) twenty-one voting members appointed by the Secretary, after consideration of the recommendations of the administering organization, from among individuals who are qualified by background and experience to participate in the work of the consensus committee; and

(ii) one nonvoting member appointed by the Secretary to represent the Secretary on the consensus committee.

(C) Disapproval

The Secretary shall state, in writing, the reasons for failing to appoint any individual recommended under paragraph (2)(A)(ii)(I).

(D) Selection procedures and requirements

Each member of the consensus committee shall be appointed in accordance with selection procedures, which shall be based on the procedures for consensus committees promulgated by the American National Standards Institute (or successor organization), except that the American National Standards Institute interest categories shall be modified for purposes of this paragraph to ensure equal representation on the consensus committee of the following interest categories:

(i) Producers

Seven producers or retailers of manufactured housing.

(ii) Users

Seven persons representing consumer interests, such as consumer organizations, recognized consumer leaders, and owners who are residents of manufactured homes.

(iii) General interest and public officials

Seven general interest and public official members.

(E) Balancing of interests

(i) In general

In order to achieve a proper balance of interests on the consensus committee, the Secretary, in appointing the members of the consensus committee-

(I) shall ensure that all directly and materially affected interests have the opportunity for fair and equitable participation without dominance by any single interest; and

(II) may reject the appointment of any one or more individuals in order to ensure that there is not dominance by any single interest.

(ii) Dominance defined

In this subparagraph, the term "dominance" means a position or exercise of dominant authority, leadership, or influence by reason of superior leverage, strength, or representation.

(F) Additional qualifications

(i) Financial independence

No individual appointed under subparagraph (D)(ii) shall have, and three of the individuals appointed under subparagraph (D)(iii) shall not have-

(I) a significant financial interest in any segment of the manufactured housing industry; or

(II) a significant relationship to any person engaged in the manufactured housing industry.

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