UIA’s Paperless Task Force is the first to receive the Michigan Department of Licensing & Regulatory Affair’s (LARA) Patent Reinvention Award, which recognizes employees for innovative ideas to enable the department to function more efficiently and cost-effectively.
LARA Director Steven H. Hilfinger announced the Patent Reinvention Award earlier this year to engage employees in helping the Office of Regulatory Reinvention (ORR) to amend duplicative, obsolete, unnecessary or unduly restrictive processes in Michigan’s government. With this in mind, an idea was submitted by UIA employees that would dramatically reduce the amount of paper used in interactions between the agency and Michigan’s employers.
“This task force has done an excellent job finding a way to help create an environment that is more service-oriented and employer friendly,” said Hilfinger. “Simplifying processes and finding faster and more effective ways of serving our customers is the foundation of a stronger and more competitive Michigan.”
UIA is already experiencing a significant decrease in paperwork since this idea has been implemented.
“There are 282 UIA paper forms that employers use and 62 have already been recreated in electronic format, thanks to the efforts of our Paperless Task Force,” said UIA Director Steve Arwood. “By this time next year, more than 80 percent of the forms will be electronic. We’re reducing the cost of paper and postage as well as making it more efficient for our employers to communicate with UIA.”
The philosophy of the Patent Reinvention Award is that it engages employees in helping to transform state government from within. Hilfinger said, “Employees know their areas and processes inside and out. Often our employees are in the best position to identify ways to their areas to do their jobs more efficiently.”
The Patent Reinvention Program is managed by the Office of Regulatory Reinvention, which is housed in LARA. The primary goal of ORR is to work with various state departments to amend duplicative, obsolete, unnecessary or unduly restrictive rules. This will lead to a regulatory environment that is simple, fair, efficient, transparent and conducive to business growth and job creation.
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