DORA Quarterly - Winter 2016
In this Issue
From Joe Neguse, DORA Executive Director
Welcome to The Quarterly, a new e-newsletter from the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA). As the state’s consumer protection agency, DORA is committed to ensuring that businesses thrive while also protecting Colorado citizens. Our nearly 600 employees are dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and promoting a fair and competitive business environment.
The efforts of DORA's divisions -- Banking, Civil Rights, Consumer Counsel, Financial Services, Insurance, Professions and Occupations, the Public Utilities Commission, Real Estate, and Securities -- reach every Colorado county, and each consistently strive to work with these communities to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens and support economic development, as well as protect consumers throughout our state.
The Quarterly shares our most current updates on these efforts to our customers -- you! I encourage your feedback and ideas by emailing me at DORA_EDO@state.co.us.
The division licenses nearly 400,000 professionals in the state — about 15 percent of the workforce — such as doctors, nurses, cosmetologists and electricians. It is required by law to set licensing fees to cover the costs of regulation for more than 50 regulatory programs for the state’s professions and occupations. Approximately 66 renewal fees were reduced or held constant this year by implementing efficiency processes and reducing operating expenses. Among the reductions for the two-year period that began on July 1 include:
“We are leveraging our shared service model and more fully integrating new technology which affects the bottom line,” said Lauren Larson, Professions and Occupations Division Director. “Reducing licensing fees puts money back in the pockets of the nearly one-in-seven Colorado workers who are required to be licensed by this Division."
Did you know that Colorado was the first state to implement an official process for regular program review, known as the sunset process? It was heralded on the front page of the Wall Street Journal in 1976 as “a remarkable innovation in state government."
A White House report released in August 2015 cited Colorado in the top 20 percent of states keeping burdens low for occupational licensing, and recognized its sunrise and sunset processes performed by DORA’s Office of Policy, Research and Regulatory Reform (OPRRR).
OPRRR's conducts sunrise reviews of proposals to create new professional and occupational regulatory programs and sunset reviews of existing government programs, as well as reviews proposals for new mandatory continuing education requirements. For example, OPRRR recommended sunsetting the surgical technicians' regulatory program and did not endorse the regulation of tax preparers in a sunrise review.
“The process is a proactive vehicle for government reform, striking a balance in good public policy while maintaining sensitivity to business needs,” said OPRRR Director Bruce Harrelson. "Public input is critical to all of the reviews we conduct. As such, we encourage you to provide comments on any sunrise, sunset or mandatory continuing education review."
OPRRR also provides a mechanism for citizens to receive Notices of Proposed Rulemaking in their areas of interest. When you sign up to receive Regulatory Notices, you are provided with information on the proposed rules, its public hearing and an effortless way to request that the rulemaking agency complete a cost-benefit analysis of the new or amended rules.
Applying, managing and paying for a license to work in Colorado's booming real estate industry is now more efficient and effective with the launch of eLicense by the Division of Real Estate.
Thanks to eLicense, mailing in paper applications, using checks for payment, or waiting for a license to arrive in the mail is now history.
DORA already offers online license management services for more than 50 regulated professions. Now, approximately 55,000 licensed real estate industry professionals in Colorado will use eLicense to submit their applications online, update their accounts, renew or reinstate their license, and print their licenses on demand. The Division of Real Estate offers online tutorials on DORA's YouTube Channel to help with the transition to eLicense.
Feel free to send us your input or report any issues about eLicense. We want to hear from you.
Doing business with us became much easier this year with the re-imagining and launch of our new website. The site offers a one-stop-shop for DORA customers to get their business done as expediently as possible, as well as offers a more elegant experience for general consumers.
Using web metrics and customer feedback as a guide, each DORA division considered the needs of the customers they serve and redeveloped their content. The new website makes it easier to access the content our customers use most frequently and features a more intuitive and powerful search function.
To ensure that the project development was in line with customer's needs, a survey, which generated more than 850 responses, helped guide priority issues. In addition, staff invited general consumers and industry stakeholders to test and gather feedback throughout the site development process. A key development from this feedback was the creation of the "I Want To" page, as well as the "What We Regulate" page, which provides a searchable list with links to DORA's regulated programs or industries.
View the DORA calendar.
Recent Strides ...
We strive to make doing business with us simple and to provide our customers access to helpful resources. Check out some of our recent strides below, and please send us your feedback ... we want to hear from you!
Visit a DORA Division