Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma Lawmakers Push for One-Stop Shop for Licensing, Permitting Functions

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma Lawmakers Push for One-Stop Shop for Licensing, Permitting Functions

Article excerpt

Two Oklahoma lawmakers want to take the move toward streamlining state government a step further by looking into consolidation of state licensing and permitting functions.

State Reps. Jason Murphey, R-Guthrie, and David Derby, R-Owasso, have filed a proposal seeking a study of the idea during the legislative interim.

On Monday, Murphey said the concept would follow up on his House Bill 1032, a government-modernization measure, which includes language requiring agencies to put their licensing and permitting functions online through the Oklahoma government Internet portal.

"The idea is that there should be a one-stop shop where, if you have to have a plumbing permit or if you have to have a license for any occupational license, any permit, you name it, you should be able to go to one place online and get it," Murphey said.

The system should be prominently featured on www.ok.gov, the state Web site, he said.

HB 1032 requires agency licensing to be online by July 1, 2010. It allows the state finance director to make exceptions for licenses or permits that require information that cannot be provided online.

"I wanted to explore the possibility of expanding that, to say now that we're putting it all in one place online, what are the chances that we can take this concept and find a home for it in the current state infrastructure, but allow there to be a one-stop shop for licensing and permitting," he said. "When you think about it, the functions of processing a license are really pretty much the same. It's a checklist of items by which the applicant may or may not qualify."

Murphey said such a centralized system has the potential for improving the efficiency of the licensing process, which is currently spread out over numerous agencies.

"The study will explore the possibility of making that happen," he said.

The lawmaker said he also wants to make obtaining state licenses and permits more convenient for applicants.

"The idea being that, in a downturn, if you have to cut government spending, let's look at those areas where we can cut government spending, while at the same time making a convenience more accessible to the people," he said. …

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