Regulatory Reform Commission Recommends Restructuring and Improving Customer Service

The Regulatory Reform Commission, appointed earlier this year by Governor Hogan, issued its first report this week calling for a restructuring of state government and major improvements in customer service.

As reported by the Baltimore Sun,

The report suggested Hogan take on tasks both complex — the government reorganization — and as simple as writing new regulations for food trucks.

The panel suggested the state cede regulatory authority on approving wetland permits to local governments, a proposal that would make life easier for developers but likely would spark concern among environmentalists.

And it concluded, after receiving more than 400 public comments, that regulators put “an emphasis on punitive enforcement instead of assisting compliance,” which created a “gotcha environment.”

An article in MarylandReporter summarizes some of the recommendations.

The commission found agencies and departments with overlapping authority, creating duplicative review of plans and permits. The report recommends:

  • Enforcement of new customer service standards — such as responding to all phone calls, emails and letters within 24 hours;
  • A centralized one-stop shop and call-center for inquiries and referrals;
  • Maximizing the use of electronic filings;
  • Updating “antiquated” technology that makes it difficult for agencies to share information with each other or businesses.
  • Quicker and more definitive responses to all plans, applications and forms.
  • Review of all professional license standards and continuing education requirements to make sure they are up-to-date and actually protect citizens. But the report concedes, “Changing or updating professional licensing takes a herculean legislative effort.”
  • Joint work groups to speed up review of major development projects.

Regulatory Reform Commission 2015 Report

Previous coverage of the Commission can be found on Conduit Street.