Gov. Perdue yesterday issued an executive order intended to reduce unnecessary rules created by state agencies. Per NC General Statute 150B-2(8a), a “rule” is defined as: “any agency regulation, standard, or statement of general applicability that implements or interprets an enactment of the General Assembly or Congress or a regulation adopted by a federal agency or that describes the procedure or practice requirements of an agency. The term includes the establishment of a fee and the amendment or repeal of a prior rule.”
Much of the executive order is fairly redundant and merely reinforce statutes regarding rule-making procedures already on the books. The most significant, and encouraging, part of the executive order is the formation of a “Rules Modification and Improvement Program (RMIP).” This program’s primary intent is to annually evaluate and “where necessary” repeal existing rules. Moreover, the program will establish a website for public comments regarding any existing rules you or your business may find to be “unduly burdensome,” with the suggestions to be “evaluated” by the Governor’s budget office (Office of State Budget and Management). The ones deemed worthy of further examination by OSBM are then to be reviewed by the relevant state agencies.
Such actions are long overdue, and should not have required an executive order. Indeed, North Carolina’s chapter in the General Statutes covering rule-making procedures and enforcement spans 44 pages when printed single-spaced. In other words, there are 44 pages of rules dictating how state agencies are to make and enforce rules, but up until now no real directions to focus on eliminating unneeded rules.
The N&O offers a nice rundown of the press conference here.
While overall the Order lacks much punch, I certainly applaud the efforts at transparency and soliciting public feedback. Time will tell how many rules are eliminated either through public comment or internal agency review, government bureaucrats typically have a pretty broad view of what is considered to have a “common purpose” as Perdue put it.
If you have any thoughts on specific agency rules you would like to see repealed, you can now let your voice be heard. To do so, click on to www.setgovernmentstraight.nc.gov