Friday, July 24, 2015
Enhanced Website Greatly Increases Accessibility and Transparency into State’s Regulations Process; State Regulations Available Online at eregulations.ct.gov
(HARTFORD, CT) - Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Secretary of the State Denise W. Merrill today announced that Connecticut's website of state regulations has re-launched in an improved format that dramatically increases public accessibility and transparency in the state's regulation process.
Located at eregulations.ct.gov, the website allows users to easily search the state's regulations using common text searching or advanced Boolean searching, and also allows for search filtering to find information faster.
"Making all state regulations available online is a feature that should have been provided many, many years ago, and upon taking office I made the creation of this website a priority in order to improve efficiency and transparency in state government," said Governor Malloy. "It is our hope that by creating this website, members of the public and employers doing business in our state will find it much easier to review existing regulations, learn about any new regulations that may be taking effect, and provide their own comments to the state whenever a proposed regulation is making its way through the approval process. Providing these services in an easily accessible format online is one of the ways that we will continue to make Connecticut a better place to live, work and do business."
A new feature for proposed regulations provides users with real-time access to the approval process as new regulations are being made and captures a chronological record of each proposed regulation as it proceeds through that process. When a regulation is open for public comment, members of the public will now be able to submit a comment directly through the website, and will also be able to view other comments that have been submitted. A new alert feature allows the public to sign up for email notifications when agencies post information to the database, providing the public with greater ability to monitor regulations.
"The launch of this new site is a major step forward for open government," said Secretary Merrill, whose office will maintain the new eRegulations website. "Today, we are making an important part of our laws more readily available to the public, academia, the business community, and the bar. It's also incredibly valuable because it shows the history of the regulation making process, and allows public comment during that process. Our goal is to make these agency regulations easy to find, easy to search, and easy to navigate. I encourage anyone interested in state regulations to go online now, search for whatever regulation you are interested in, and let us know how your experience was. We are interested in feedback from the public so we can continually improve public access to government data."
The newly launched state regulations website is part of a comprehensive modernization project to make these documents available over the internet. Prior to 2013, state regulations were not available online, except through commercial legal material providers. Records on individual regulations were kept in hard copy by the agency writing the regulations. In 2012, Governor Malloy introduced legislation, which he later signed into law, that required the creation of a web portal whereby all state regulations would be made available to the public on the internet. That system first launched online in July 2013.
Now newly enhanced, the website puts all of this information into one location and promotes greater interaction between the agency and the people affected by agency regulations.
Governor Malloy and Secretary Merrill specifically applauded the work of the Department of Administrative Services' Bureau of Enterprise Systems and Technology for coordinating this project, in addition to the state's vendor, Fairfax Data Systems of New Milford, Connecticut, for its work in designing and constructing the new system. Construction of the project was financed through the Information Technology Fund, proposed by the Governor in 2011 and funded in every budget cycle since.
The new website marks the end of the first phase of the regulations modernization effort, which began with the submission of the Final Report of the Regulations Modernization Taskforce to the Governor on February 1, 2013. Over the coming months and years, the website and its backend system will continue to be improved and enhanced.
Members of the public who have comments or suggestions about the state regulations website can contact Kristin Karr, the eRegulations System Manager, at Kristin.Karr@ct.gov or by clicking the "contact us" link on the eRegulations website.