Coming soon: You may need to register with HISA as the July 1 deadline approaches – Horse Racing News
Attendees at the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) annual convention last week posed many questions to the new national authority set to begin its regulatory takeover. On the first day of the convention, Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority CEO Lisa Lazarus gave stewards some additional details on what to expect on July 1, including a phased introduction of the horseracing accreditation program. racetrack safety as well as more immediate rule changes, including some crop usage impact.
On the second day of the conference, commissioners heard from lawyers and technology experts answer questions about what to expect.
Lawyers have expressed concern or confusion about the new agency’s actual transparency, and as with many things about HISA, no one is yet entirely sure of the correct position. So far, HISA has claimed it does not fall under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, a 1972 law that requires certain committees to post notice of upcoming meetings and open those meetings to the general public. Some attorneys interpret the Federal Advisory Committee Act as having a narrow scope in terms of the types of bodies it can apply to, and it’s unclear whether the HSIA could be included. It could also exempt HISA from open case law requests.
Ed Martin, president and CEO of ARCI, said the organization has officially encouraged HISA to consider writing open records requirements into its code. Additionally, Martin expressed frustration with what he said was miscommunication between HISA and the race marshals. Martin says the commissioners were not notified when HISA determined he would not be able to take over drug testing responsibilities on July 1 this year, and only found out when a public announcement has been made.
“It was kind of a surprise for many jurisdictions because there was no prior warning or discussion,” Martin said.
Martin insisted that open communication, both with the public and with key members of the industry, would be the best way forward for the new authority as it begins the complex process of taking charge. racing regulations.
Some participants had questions about how the process for appealing a commissioner’s decision would change under the new authority. John Roach, HISA’s acting general counsel, explained that there would still be layers of possible appeals in the new system. Using a whipping rule violation as an example, Roach said the new system would force stewards to make a decision, and if the rider appeals, it would go through a layer of review at the Authority. If the affected person wishes to appeal the HISA’s decision regarding the rule violation, they can ask a Federal Trade Commission administrative judge to hear an appeal, which the FTC does not have to grant. If an FTC administrative law judge hears the appeal and upholds the stewards’ decision, then the named individual will proceed to federal court.
It is unclear how the timing of this appeals process would compare to the existing system, in which a licensee appeals a Stewards’ decision to the state racing commission and then to a local court, then to the state court of appeals and the state supreme court before moving on to the United States Supreme Court, if necessary. (Relatively few cases appealing suspensions or other violations of racing regulations are heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.)
In another presentation, HISA Chief Technology Officer Steve Keech demonstrated the registration process for HISA to the audience. Anyone considered a Covered Person under the Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Act will need to register with the new authority. This includes most people who are currently licensed by state racing commissions, with the exception of people not directly involved in racing, such as food vendors or cleaning staff, etc.
There will be no registration fee for HISA. Registration will allow the authority to track continuing education credits, compile licensing and regulatory information, etc.
Users will be prompted to enter their existing state license information into the HISA registration portal. The HISA system has been integrated with state, InCompass, ARCI, and other licensing databases to retrieve all of a given person’s licensing information and compile it in one place. The system will use third-party address verification systems to ensure that the contact information entered is accurate, based on that person’s previous known locations.
The entry process is available in English and Spanish, and Keech said he is working with jockeys from various countries in Central and South America to ensure the Spanish version is appropriate for all dialects to that the instructions are as clear as possible.
Horses will also need to be registered, which will require the person responsible for that horse (usually, but not always, the trainer) to enter the horse’s vaccination history and upload health documents into the system, noting the location of the horse. Location information will need to be updated each time the horse moves from place to place. Keech said his team is still working on how to import large batches of horse registration information for trainers with large barns who may have registrations already stored in InCompass.
It is not yet clear how claiming or selling horses will work in this system, or what information will be transferred between responsible persons.
It is also unclear how HISA or other authorities will enforce the requirement that all persons covered under the new law actually complete the registration process. As several commission staff pointed out in the question and answer portion of the presentation, it is already a battle to secure stable state-licensed staff, and it is not uncommon to find that barns have employees who are not licensed.
Keech hopes, however, that the HISA system, which will integrate information from currently separate databases, will open up new possibilities for using this data productively. Veterinarians, for example, will need to enter information about their veterinarian as well as their racing licenses into the database, which could help states find qualified practitioners with the right license if they find themselves in the middle of a a shortage of veterinarians. This will also make it easier for authorities to see a given person’s licensing history as a whole, as well as a horse’s veterinarian list history across all jurisdictions.
The registration system is expected to launch on July 1, and by that date the authority’s rules state that all covered persons must be registered with HISA. The system is not yet publicly available.