Secretary of State Mike Coffman's administration received national recognition last week by the Administrative Codes and Registers Section of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS). NASS awarded the Colorado Secretary of State's office with the 2007 "Robert J. Colborn, Jr. Innovation Award" at its summer conference in Portland, Oregon.

The Secretary of State's office is responsible for making the administrative rules, adopted by all of the agencies of state government, available to the public. These administrative rules cover all aspects of state government, from food safety regulations promulgated by the Department of Public Health and the Environment, to what documents are required before a Colorado driver's license can be issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

"Our Web-based system makes every branch of state government more transparent and accountable to the public. In a time when Colorado has seen several high-profile I.T. projects flounder, this is an exceptional milestone for the state," said Coffman.

To increase public accessibility to the internal operations of state agencies, the Colorado Secretary of State's office embarked on an ambitious project to put the entire rulemaking process online so that citizens and other interested parties can follow the process and comment during the required public hearings. This goal was met in July 2007 when the online Code of Colorado Regulations became the official source for Colorado administrative rules.

The Code of Colorado Regulations is more than an online directory of administrative rules. The online system provides:

  • Complete public access to the Code of Colorado Regulations;
  • The ability to view proposed and draft versions of a rule;
  • Automatic email alerts to interested parties regarding specific rules;
  • An e-Docket portal that aids legal research;
  • Online forms that enforce statutory rule-filing requirements;
  • Increased efficiency and accuracy for governmental agencies.

The Administrative Codes and Registers Section of NASS annually selects one state agency in the country for the Colborn Award that "demonstrates creativity and innovation" in providing public access to, or managing, the state's administrative rules.

"Colorado's program is a model for the rest of the nation in improving government efficiency and the delivery of services to citizens, businesses, and other governmental entities," said Leslie Reynolds, Executive Director for NASS. "We are delighted that our members in the Administrative Codes and Registers Section have recognized the Colorado Secretary of State's office with the 2007 Colborn Award."