Providence, RI – Governor Lincoln D. Chafee released two reports today from the Office of Regulatory Reform (ORR). The first contains the results of his 2014 Small Business Survey, while the second is an Annual Report on ORR's activities in 2013.
"These reports reflect how the valuable feedback received from Rhode Island small business owners is being incorporated into the ongoing work of the office towards reform," Governor Chafee said. "While there is much more work to do, I am pleased to see that Rhode Island is heading in the right direction. I encourage businesses to continue to reach out to the office, as I encourage lawmakers to consider the items identified by businesses in this report."
The 2014 survey contains the perspectives of 376 individuals from the small business community on which rules and regulations are the most burdensome. Identified items include state laws and agency rules around taxes, employment, and health and safety. Special attention was paid to those regulations that were also mentioned in the previous year's survey.
"ORR will continue its work of resolving regulatory and permitting inefficiencies, inconsistencies, and misalignments that interfere with business growth and investment," said Peter Marino, Director of the Office of Management and Budget. "For example, after receiving complaints on the business bi-weekly pay application, our office worked with the Department of Labor and Training to design a more efficient, user friendly form."
The 2013 Annual Report outlines ORR's work in three major areas, namely its periodic regulatory review, its small business ombudsman services, and its statewide electronic permitting initiative. In 2013, the office: - Reviewed over one-thousand active regulations. - Identified with regulators over 80 potential regulatory changes. - Issued 12 reform recommendations. - Surveyed and met with hundreds of businesses. - Provided regulatory guidance to over 40 businesses, troubleshooting a variety of regulatory issues. - Reviewed more than 40 regulatory proposals for small business impact. - Provided 10 agencies with on- and off-site training and support. - Developed a comprehensive RFP for the e-permitting initiative. - Assisted three cities and towns in preparing for electronic permitting.
"ORR has provided an incredible amount of public value with minimal cost to taxpayers," said Director Marino. "However, we have consistently found that regulatory reform is not enough. It is critical that the state continue to improve its customer service to taxpayers and businesses, so they can save time and money."
For more information on the Office of Management and Budget, visit its website at www.omb.ri.gov/reform. For additional information, or business assistance with regulatory or permitting matters, please contact ORR at 401-574-8430.