Friday, October 25, 2013

DEQ acts quickly to streamline licensing and permitting processes

Last session the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality was able to secure $5 million for an e-portal system that would allow businesses to pay for and receive licenses online. In the FY 2014 budget, Governor Brewer proposed that the Department of Administration and Department of Environmental Quality develop an e-portal that would allow regulated customers to have access to permit applications, electronic payment, and alerts through an online database. As part of the funding process, the Information Technology Authorization Committee met earlier this week to recommend to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee that they release $5 million from DOA to DEQ to develop the portal. JLBC will meeting next Tuesday, October 29 at 1:00pm to approve this recommendation.

The online portal will continue to enhance Arizona’s regulatory climate by decreasing permitting and licensing wait times. Paper transactions between businesses and DEQ have proven to be inefficient and burdensome. Currently, DEQ provides approximately 70 different permits. Only three of those are available online. When the “My DEQ” portal is up and running, DEQ projects that some permit wait times could decrease by as much as 99%.

During Governor Brewer’s State of the State, she mention her “Four Cornerstones of Reform”. Among those was modernizing state government. I applaud DEQ for acting quickly and taking such a significant step towards improving and modernizing their agency and hope that the project serves as a model for all other state agencies to follow.

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