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Introduced Version Senate Bill 544 History

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Senate Bill No. 544

(By Senator McCabe)

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[Introduced March 15, 2005; referred to the Committee

on Government Organization; and then to the Committee on Finance.]

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A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §29A-8-1, §29A-8-2, §29A-8-3, §29A-8-4, §29A-8-5, §29A-8-6, §29A-8-7, §29A-8- 8 and §29A-8- 9 , all relating to creating the "Permitting Information Act"; providing a short title; setting forth legislative findings; defining certain terms; creating the position of ombudsman to facilitate dissemination of information regarding state permits; providing state agencies have a duty to provide permitting information; providing for the assessment of costs against agencies who fail to provide information; providing for a report to be made to the Legislature and Governor concerning the dissemination of permitting information; and requiring the ombudsman to propose rules to effectuate the purposes of the article.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §29A-8-1, §29A-8-2, §29A-8-3, §29A-8-4, §29A-8-5, §29A-8-6, §29A-8-7
, §29A-8- 8 and §29A-8- 9 , all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 8. PERMITTING INFORMATION ACT.

§29A-8-1. Short title.

This article may be known and cited as the "Permitting Information Act."
§29A-8-2. Legislative findings.
(a) The Legislature finds that persons conducting various business activities in this state are required to obtain permits and licenses from agencies that regulate those activities.
(b) The Legislature further finds that the efficiency of the permitting process is an integral component of effective government, business development and public participation.
(c) The Legislature further finds that it is the public policy of the State of West Virginia that the process of permitting of various activities should be efficient and streamlined.
(d) The Legislature further finds that communication and coordination among permitting and other agencies, applicants and the public is essential to the efficiency of the permitting process.
§29A-8-3. Definitions.
For the purposes of this article, the following words have the meaning assigned unless the context indicates otherwise:
(a) "Agency" means any board, department, division, authority, commission or any other public entity that requires a permit to perform an activity.
(b) "Permit" means any permit, license, authorization, certification, registration or other approval required to perform an activity.
§29A-8-4. Creation of permitting information ombudsman function; authority of permitting information ombudsman.

The Legislature hereby creates the position of permitting information ombudsman, in the Governor's Office of Technology, for the purpose of facilitating the dissemination of information regarding the state's permits. The ombudsman shall have authority as follows:
(a) To establish a central information repository and to require each agency to fully cooperate in providing information relating to the types and purposes of all permits issued;
(b) To determine the information that each agency must submit in order to provide adequate information to the public regarding the types of permits needed for a particular activity; and
(c) To require local agencies, including regional, county and municipal public entities to fully cooperate in providing information relating to the types and purposes of all permits issued.
§29A-8-5. Duty of agencies to provide permitting information; development of permitting information repository.

(a) On or before the first day of October, two thousand five, every agency that issues any permit shall identify itself to the permitting information ombudsman and the types of permits the agency issues.
(b) On or before the first day of December, the permitting information ombudsman shall establish and provide to agencies that issue permits the procedures and methods for submission of required permitting information for the permitting information repository.
(c) On or before the first day of February, two thousand six, every agency that issues permits shall submit the required permitting information in accordance with the procedures and methods established by the permitting information ombudsman.
(d) On or before the first day of July, two thousand six, the permitting information ombudsman will create an internet-based, publicly accessible permitting information repository that contains a comprehensive detailed listing of the types of permits, the purposes of the permits, and the agencies responsible for issuance of permits, including agency contact information. The permitting information repository shall allow individuals to obtain a listing of the types of permits required for specific regulated activities.
§29A-8-6. Provision of newly adopted, revised, or terminated permitting information to permitting information ombudsman.

Each agency subject to this article is required to provide to the permitting information ombudsman current information relating to any permit no later than thirty days prior to the effective date of implementation, revision, or termination of any permitting requirement.
§29A-8-7. Failure to provide permitting information to permitting information ombudsman.

At the recommendation of the permitting information ombudsman, the Governor's Office of Technology may assess to any agency the costs of obtaining and preparing permitting information from an agency that fails to provide such information to the permitting information ombudsman or otherwise fails to cooperate with the permitting information ombudsman in a timely manner. Any agency assessed costs under this section shall pay such costs in a timely manner.
§29A-8-8. Reporting of status of permitting information repository to Legislature and Governor.

No later than the thirty-first day of December of each calendar year, the permitting information ombudsman shall report to the Legislature and the Governor the status of the permitting information repository, and shall identify any agency that has failed to comply with the requirements of this Act.
§29A-8-9. Promulgation of rules.
Pursuant to chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, the permitting information ombudsman shall promulgate rules to effectuate the purpose and provisions of this article.




NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to create the "Permitting Information Act." The primary purpose of this bill is to provide a governmental mechanism to disseminate information concerning the state-agency permitting process. Toward this end the proposed article contains the following provisions: (1)Providing a short title; (2) setting forth legislative findings; (3) defining certain terms; (4) creating the position of ombudsman to facilitate dissemination of information regarding state permits; (5) providing state agencies have a duty to provide permitting information; (6) providing for the assessment of costs against agencies who fail to provide information; (7) providing for a report to be made to the Legislature and Governor concerning the dissemination of permitting information; and, (8) requiring the ombudsman to propose rules to effectuate the purposes of the article.


This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.
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