DORA launches new public engagement efforts for the Colorado Office of Policy, Research & Regulatory Reform

Public engagement central for office that provides legislative recommendations on state regulatory environment

DENVER (July 20, 2016) -- Regulation is recognized as a key component in keeping the marketplace competitive and fair while providing important consumer protections. The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) Executive Director Joe Neguse announced today that the Colorado Office of Policy, Research & Regulatory Reform (COPRRR), which is responsible for conducting the Sunrise and Sunset reviews for the state, is implementing several new initiatives to encourage greater public participation in the regulatory reform process.

“Regulations provide important protections for consumers and businesses as they help set the ground rules and combat fraud,” said Neguse. “However, keeping regulations streamlined, relevant and the decision-making processes behind them efficient and transparent, are important components to developing a strong economic environment. Our goal is to improve access for the public to get more engaged in the regulatory decisions that are made.”

Formerly called the Office of Policy, Research & Regulatory Reform, COPRRR is housed at DORA.

COPRRR’s mission is to determine if regulation is needed to protect the public. In order to encourage greater public engagement in the regulatory reform process, COPRRR has spearheaded a variety of new initiatives to help consumers, business owners and professionals provide direct input to state government about the real impact of regulation,” said COPRRR Director Bruce Harrelson. 

COPRR’s new initiatives include, among others, the following: 

  • New Website:  A new citizen-centric web presence, dora.colorado.gov/opr, is designed to help the public better understand the regulatory review process and ways they can participate. The website encourages visitors to interact with state agencies and government in a variety of different ways.
     
  • Soliciting Public Comment:  Public understanding and input is critical to all of the sunrise and sunset reviews that COPRRR conducts. The office is currently soliciting public input through its new website on multiple pending sunset and sunrise reports, including for example, reviewing the efficacy of the Colorado Motor Vehicle Dealer Board (including the State’s “Sunday Closing Law” concerning the sale of vehicles), or determining whether “Cannabis Growers” or “Art Therapists” should be regulated by the State.  To provide input on these topics, among many others, visit the “Participate” tab on dora.colorado.gov/opr
  • Citizen’s Guide:  In an effort to further inform the public about Colorado agencies’ rulemaking and how they can get involved, DORA and COPRRR have jointly published a “Citizen’s Guide to Rulemaking.”  The guide is available online at dora.colorado.gov/opr. Hard copies are also available at DORA’s offices, 1560 Broadway, suite 1550, Denver, CO 80202. 
     
  • Encouraging Cost-Benefit Analysis Requests (CBAs):  When an agency proposes to amend an existing rule or to promulgate a new rule, that agency must submit the rule to COPRRR.  COPRRR then sends a Regulatory Notice to registered stakeholders so that they can review the rule and request that a cost-benefit analysis be prepared. Anyone can sign up to receive “Regulatory Notices.” “If you are a business owner and there is a rule change being proposed by an agency that could impact your business, you can request a CBA to ensure that the cost benefit of the rule has been fully vetted,” noted Harrelson.
     
  • White Paper Initiative:  Later this year, COPRRR will begin issuing white papers meant to clarify particular issues specific to the regulatory environment. These papers will be published and distributed to policy-makers across the State. For further information, or to suggest a topic for a potential white paper, please contact COPRRR at DORA_OPR_website@state.co.us.   


Background on Colorado Office of Policy, Research & Regulatory Reform (COPRRR)

In the 1970s, the state of Colorado broke new ground by implementing Sunrise and Sunset review processes for its regulated professions, occupations, government agencies, rules, programs and functions.  The Colorado Office of Policy, Research & Regulatory Reform (COPRRR), housed in the Executive Director’s Office at DORA, is statutorily responsible for providing recommendations and reports to the General Assembly regarding proposed or existing regulation through the following activities: 

  • Sunrise reviews — evaluate whether a currently unregulated occupation or profession should be regulated.
  • Sunset reviews — evaluate if an existing board, program or function of government is still needed.
  • Mandatory continuing education reviews — evaluate whether proposed continuing education requirements are likely to protect the public. 
  • Regulatory notices — inform interested parties of new and amended state rules, enabling them to request that a cost-benefit analysis be prepared.

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About DORA
The Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and is committed to promoting a fair and competitive business environment in Colorado. Consumer protection is our mission. Visit www.dora.colorado.gov for more information or call 303-894-7855 / toll free 1-800-886-7675
 

Media Contacts:
 
Rebecca Laurie
Department of Regulatory Agencies
p: 303-894-2338 | c: 720-724-0612