(a)Determination of Need by the Agency.—An agency may establish a negotiated rulemaking committee to negotiate and develop a proposed rule, if the head of the agency determines that the use of the negotiated rulemaking procedure is in the public interest. In making such a determination, the head of the agency shall consider whether—
there is a need for a rule;
there are a limited number of identifiable interests that will be significantly affected by the rule;
(3) there is a reasonable likelihood that a committee can be convened with a balanced representation of persons who—
(b)Use of .—
(1)Purposes of conveners.—An agency may use the services of a convener to assist the agency in—
(2)Duties of conveners.—
The convener shall report findings and may make recommendations to the agency. Upon request of the agency, the convener shall ascertain the names of persons who are willing and qualified to represent interests that will be significantly affected by the proposed rule, including residents of rural areas. The report and any recommendations of the convener shall be made available to the public upon request.