DORA Quarterly - Winter 2016

 
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Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies | Winter 2015-2016
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In this Issue


Joe Neguse, Executive Director

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.


Fees reduced by $2 million for professional licenses 

DORA Quarterly - Fee Red

Colorado's professional licensees will see more-than $2 million in fee savings over the next two years thanks to a major fee reduction effort by DORA's Division of Professions and Occupations.

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:

  • Renewal costs for a psychologist license will drop 75 percent, from $147 to $37;
  • Renewal fees for chiropractors licenses will fall 64 percent, from $543 to $195; and
  • License renewals for registered nurses are down by $5 to $87.

“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."


Colorado's sunrise/sunset process recognized   

DORA Quarterly - Sunrise

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. 


'eLicense' modernizes services for real estate pro's

DORA Quarterly - eLicense

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.

DORA's new website improves customer experience

DORA Website

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 consider​ed 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. 

User feedback has been positive since its launch, and a website feedback form is posted on the new site's homepage as a way to continue gathering feedback. Take a video tour and visit our site!


Upcoming Meetings

  • DORA Quarterly - Calendar clip artPlumbing Board Meeting and Rulemaking Hearing - Dec. 15
  • Colorado Medical Board Licensing Panel - Dec. 16
  • Banking Board Monthly Meeting - Dec. 17
  • State Board of Registered Psychotherapists Monthly Meeting - Dec. 18
  • Public Utilities Commission Hearings - Multiple dates

View the DORA calendar.

*Neat Feature* 
Google users can add an individual board or program calendar to their own Google calendar. To do this, just click on the "Google Calendar" symbol on the bottom of the calendar view on our homepage. You can also find DORA's individual meeting calendars on division homepages.     


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!

  • Industry Outreach
    Following the success of the Pits and Peeves initiative, DORA divisions have impaneled industry stakeholder groups to continue discussing ways to improve government processes, cut red tape, improve customer service and discuss reasonable and conscientious regulation. Interested in joining a stakeholder panel? Email
    dora_edo_callcenter@state.co.us.

  • Partnerships
    DORA and the Colorado State Innovation Model (SIM) are partnering to streamline access to mental health care in Colorado. Go to the full announcement.

  • Customer Service
    Last month, the Executive Director's Office piloted a customer service chat feature on the website. Initial user feedback verified that a chat function is a valuable addition to DORA's customer service. DORA will continue with the next phase of this pilot in the coming months.

  • Education
    The Colorado Civil Rights Division offers free courses to help employers understand their rights and responsibilities regarding Colorado employment anti-discrimination laws.

  • Resources for Military Applicants
    DORA helps current and transitioning military service members use military training and experience to obtain civilian licensure


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