By PAIGE LaBARGE
Capital News Service
LANSING — The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) is unveiling a new website with hopes of better collaboration with businesses and the public to simplify licensing and regulatory activities.
The department’s transition from Energy, Labor and Economic Growth includes creation of the Office of Regulatory Reinvention.
Director Steven Hilfinger said it will review rules, see if health professionals meet federal standards, create committee stakeholders and check to see if any regulated businesses have become obsolete to the department.
“Our goals are focus more on direct licensing, and get more business and public opinion, which is reflected in the new website,” he said.
Rob Nederhood, deputy director, is heading creation of the website.
“It serves two purposes: to enable public participation by providing an opportunity to comment on rules and sharing information about the advisory rules committees, and to serve as a portal to the Michigan rulemaking process,” Nederhood said.
“The public should expect a collaborative and transparent process in which their voices and the voices of other stakeholders will be heard and taken into account,” he said.
Goals for the website are to simplify the state’s regulatory environment and allow businesses to create more jobs, Nederhood said.
John Groen, a department communications representative, said the website will help create jobs by making regulations more fair and efficient. That will reduce the cost for business.
The committees are a large part of creating the website in response to people interested in working with LARA, he said.
“Some committees will deal with occupational licensing lists, but we haven’t started that phase yet,” Groan said. “The website will see if licensing is still appropriate in the professions and if they are helping anything in the state.”
© 2011, Capital News Service, Michigan State University School of Journalism. Not to be reproduced without permission.
By PAIGE LaBARGE