On July 27, 2008, Administrative Codes and Registers (ACR) recognized the work of the Arkansas Secretary of State’s Office and Jon Davidson for their work to make Arkansas rules accessible.
Jon Davidson (AR, left) receives Colborn Award from Dennis Stevenson (ID, right).
Jon Davidson (AR; left) receives the Colborn award from Dennis Stevenson (ID; Colborn Committee Chair; right).
Of Arkansas’ and Mr. Davidson’s efforts, Mr. Stevenson observed:
The Arkansas Register is a bit of a Cinderella story and, while technically this system is not as elaborate or complex as many we’ve seen in other states, the fact that Jon was dedicated to elevating the Arkansas Register to its proper place in the hierarchy of Arkansas state government documents reflects not only why ACR created the Robert J. Colborn, Jr. Innovation Award, but goes to the very core of what ACR is and why it exists. What has happened with the Arkansas Register is a great example of a rising ACR ocean lifting all boats.
As [the awards] committee, we recognized that for each state that has a state of the art electronic system, there is another state where the Code and Register editors are still in the trenches fighting to make its own government understand the importance of its administrative rules and the difference they make in people’s lives. The Arkansas Register has shown the importance of making a state’s rules and policies available to the public and that open government always makes for better government.
More information is available from the AR Secretary of State’s Office, and from ACR’s web site.
A new feature on the Secretary of State’s website offers streamlined access to state agency rules and regulations. The changes have further opened the doors of government to the public, allowing a simpler method for following public hearings and tracking changes in public policy as they are proposed and implemented. An expanded search engine makes it simple to explore administrative rules online using search fields that include the name of the agency, rule title or number, keywords, file dates and type of rule. New filings are also available in “real time” as they are added to the database. Previously rules were listed online by filing numbers only, a system that was difficult for members of the general public to navigate. The improvements now allow instant access to the full text of rules that have been filed electronically with the office since 2001. With more than 75,000 hits to the rules section of the website each month, this expanded service is a welcome addition for the rule-filing agencies, law firms, publishing houses and general public who reference these documents. More than a year in development and testing, the features were designed in cooperation with administrative rules and information technology staff members and the Information Network of Arkansas. To access the site, visit www.sos.arkansas.gov and click on “Research State Agency Rules and Regs” under the Elections section.