Gov. John Hickenlooper today unveiled recommendations to reduce government "red tape" and regulatory inefficiencies based on feedback from more than 100 business organizations, local governments, advocacy and community groups statewide.
"Red tape and unnecessary regulations are road blocks to economic development," Hickenlooper said. "We need a government that is responsive to our concerns and priorities and spends our tax dollars wisely. That means government needs to know when to regulate and when to get out of the way."
The recommendations were created after a six-month series of "Pits and Peeves" roundtable meetings held in all parts of Colorado.
The meetings focused on the experiences of roundtable participants with government red tape, as well as their ideas and suggestions to eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy. Recommendations were compiled in a 94-page report called "Cutting Red Tape in Colorado State Government."
"We heard from businesses across the state that excessive government regulation and too much red tape kept them from expanding or hiring more people," said Barbara Kelley, executive director of the Department of Regulatory Agencies. "By hosting these collaborative roundtables, we identified how the state can be a better business partner."
The red tape issues identified by the participants concerned both discrete, individual rules and regulations, as well issues of a more systemic or structural nature.
State agencies have already started making changes to address issues around red tape and appropriate regulation. For example:
The Division of Real Estate found 114 rules "ripe for repeal or revision, based on lack of clarity, duplicative, overly burdensome or obsolete practices." One practice includes an entire chapter that imposed disclosure requirements on individuals who were in fact exempt from the licensure law.
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) found many of its rules were out of date decades ago. Of its 31 rules, CDOT has already repealed three.
CDOT has streamlined its contracting system such that template contracts, which previously had to be approved by the Office of the State Controller, are now approved directly through CDOT, cutting weeks off of the approval process.
Delays in processing air quality permit requests was a recurring red tape issue. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in its Air Pollution Control Division has undertaken an effort to address a backlog of permits, and has hired a second air quality modeler and six temporary permit engineers. A reduction in the backlog for air quality permits should also help the Division reduce the overall permitting backlog.