August 15, 2008
A couple of weeks ago, I received an e-mail from a businessman who was applying for a mechanical contractor's license with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Mr. Robert Byrne is the President of Power Pro-Tech Services, Inc. & The American Generator Company.
Mr. Byrne first congratulated me on my recent appointment and the birth of my grandson. Then, he stated that "without exception, the staff with whom I have interacted at the Department of Business and Professional Regulation has been very professional and courteous." He also complimented the agency for improvements to the Web-based resources, which enable document retrieval and real-time tracking of the application process.
At this point, I was feeling really good, but having had many years experience in management, I realized that the other shoe was about to drop. Then, it did. It turned out that Mr. Byrne was entangled in the application process, and even though he was trying to carefully follow the instructions, he couldn’t resolve some of the discrepancies.
I was attending the Division of Professions' board meetings in Orlando and noticed that Mr. Byrne was in the area. I invited him to meet with me to address his concerns. Not long after the invitation, I sat down with Mr. Byrne and his partner, Randy Boyd. They explained their issues with the application process and identified the hurdles they ran into while trying to get licensed. Mr. Byrne and Mr. Boyd were extremely polite, helpful and insightful as they offered suggestions for simplifying and streamlining the process.
When I returned to Tallahassee, we resolved the bureaucratic barriers and Mr. Byrne completed his application and got his license. I cannot thank Mr. Byrne and Mr. Boyd enough for taking the time to sit down with me and offer suggestions on doing business better.
This type of communication is precisely what will help drive Governor Crist's "Accelerate Florida" initiative. Yesterday, I attended a roundtable discussion with Governor Charlie Crist, Lt. Governor Kottkamp and other agency heads to discuss the new, aggressive initiative. As the licensing and regulatory agency for more than one million people, we play a crucial role in removing unnecessary regulation while making sure that consumers remain safe. The Governor has directed me and Department staff to review statutes, rules, procedures, and forms to ensure that:
• Regulation is exercised only to the extent necessary to ensure the public is protected.
• Professions, occupations, and businesses are regulated in a manner that does not restrict entry into the practice of the profession, occupation, or business, or limit the availability of services to the public.
• Regulation does not have an unreasonable affect on job creation or job retention, or place unreasonable restrictions on individuals finding employment.
• Regulation is cost-effective and has favorable economic impact, including the indirect costs to consumers.
As you can tell from my conversation with Mr. Byrne and Mr. Boyd, licensees' input is crucial to helping us reevaluate and readjust our practices. I encourage each of you to meet with me while I'm "On the Road to Better Business" around the state. I invite you to meet with me from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 28, in Tampa at the Bromley Building, located at 3725 W. Grace St., Suite 510. Please visit the "On the Road to Better Business" Web page for tour stops in your area.
Supporting you means supporting Florida's economy, and I appreciate your help in achieving our mission.
Charles W. Drago
Department of Business and
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