New Website offers greater access to state government

Gov. Gary Locke last week announced the launch of a new Website that will make it easier for businesses and citizens to access state government regulations, permitting requirements and rule-making procedures.

The Website,, is a service of the Office of Regulatory Assistance (ORA), which was created out of legislation passed last year as part of the effort to make Washington even more business friendly. The legislation is a result of a recommendation from the Washington Competitiveness Council, which the governor convened in 2001 to examine Washington’s ability to compete in the global economy of the 21st century.

“This new Web site is one more way we’re cutting government red tape,” Locke said. “It will provide citizens with access to information regarding our state’s regulations, permit requirements and rules. It will make state government even more transparent to our citizens.”

ORA’s goal is to improve citizens’ and businesses’ interactions with agencies and to increase their understanding of government purposes and operations.
The Website was developed to help businesses and citizens locate rule information, and to help discover information on environmental permitting. It provides links to cities, counties, economic development councils, business license information, agency rulemaking information, and environmental permitting.

Last week’s launch is Phase I of the Website. Future improvements are planned, including enhanced searching abilities for rules and laws, more links and more content on permitting.

“We hope this Web site will serve as a helpful ‘front door’ to government for businesses and citizens – to answer questions and give people the information they need,” said Claire Hesselholt, director of the ORA.

ORA is part of the Office of Financial Management and is administered by the governor’s office.