WSR 08-05-051




[ February 10, 2006 ]



Improve, Simplify and Assist

WHEREAS, this Administration wants to make it easy to do business in the state of Washington; and

Citizens and businesses deserve state agencies that will be innovative and creative in simplifying their procedures for permits, licenses, regulatory compliance and all other business operations; and

Businesses should expect state agencies to provide:

Clear rules and regulations;
Consistent, high-quality, problem-solving service;
Timely responses;
User-friendly processes; and

All state agencies and other levels of government should work to reduce multi-agency barriers for business; and

Citizens need results that protect the public health and safety and do not compromise environmental quality; and

The top priorities of this administration include improving and simplifying the licensing, permitting, tax collection and other state business systems; and

The directors of certain state agencies, and a representative for local jurisdictions, signed a Project Charter in January 2006, which guides the development and implementation of a one-stop business portal for Washington citizens and businesses.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Christine O. Gregoire, Governor of the state of Washington, direct all regulatory, taxing, licensing, and permitting agencies and programs to improve and simplify service to Washington citizens and businesses.

The Governor's Regulatory Improvement Program will work with agencies to:

A. Develop a One-Stop Business Portal. This single, secure, online portal will make licensing, permitting, regulatory approvals or filings, and tax collection easier for business.
B. Provide Multi-Agency Reviews for Permits. Agencies will ease the burden of dealing with multiple agencies for permits by streamlining the process with features such as multi-agency permit teams, concurrent permit reviews, offering single points of contact, and providing on-line tools, education, and outreach. State agencies also will develop permit review systems and procedures that include local and federal agencies.
C. Engage in On-going Regulatory Improvement. The Director of the Office of Regulatory Assistance will work with state, local and federal agencies to make on-going improvements that will make the permitting, licensing, and regulatory processes easier and more effective. To do this, the Office of Regulatory Assistance will:

Consult regularly with stakeholders;
Develop and implement innovative regulatory best practices;
Work with local and federal governments to develop coordinated permitting, licensing and related regulatory systems;
Utilize the latest technology to ensure all the work of businesses and citizens with the state is as efficient and user-friendly as possible; and
Report annually to the Governor on the status of regulatory improvement work plans.

D. Listen to Our Clients. Agencies will use surveys, focus and advisory groups, interviews, complaint tracking or other methods to understand citizen and business perspectives and to improve service design and delivery.
E. Talk Clearly to the Public. Agencies will make their letters, instructions and processes clear and understandable to citizens and businesses. They will standardize and simplify forms and applications. They will write their processes, rules, online tools, and public information in clear language that will improve accessibility, reduce processing times and increase user-friendliness.
F. Be Accountable. Agencies that collect taxes or provide permits, licenses, approvals, and other regulatory services will:

Establish measurable service delivery standards to address issues such as:
o Turnaround or response times,
o Professionalism and helpfulness,
o Consistency,
o Efficiency and effectiveness, and
o Overall quality of service outcomes;
Regularly measure progress;
Report quarterly through Governor and agency Government Management, Accountability, and Performance (GMAP) review sessions;
Consider benchmarks from similar agencies or programs;
Set targets for improvement; and
Use Plain Talk standards (Executive Order 05-03) for written materials.

This Executive Order shall take effect immediately.

Signed and sealed with the official seal of the state of Washington, on this 10th day of February 2006, at Olympia, Washington.
Christine O. Gregoire
Sam Reed
Secretary of State

Washington State Code Reviser's Office