Government and People
|The Business Regulatory
Reform Commission (BRRC) was established to
"identify and recommend legislation to eliminate or
modify obsolete, inconsistent, or duplicative business
regulations in the District; recommend legislation to
assume timely disposition of permit and license
applications and/or objections to them; and recommend
administrative changes to improve governmental processing
The BRRC was established by DC Law 10-212 on March 16, 1995, but its members were not sworn in until August 21, 1996. It submitted its final report on September 3, 1997, and will be officially disbanded on November 3, 1997. Its members represented business, industry, and government. The twelve industry members were selected by the DC Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Washington Board of Trade, the Apartment and Office Building Association of Metropolitan Washington, the DC Association of Realtors, and the Board of Governors of the District of Columbia Bar; they were nominated by the Mayor and approved by the City Council. The seven ex officio government members were the Mayor, the Corporation Counsel of the District of Columbia, the Director of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, the Administrator of the Building and Land Regulation Administration of DCRA, the Administrator of the Business Regulation Administration of DCRA, the Chairman of the City Council, and the Chairman of the Council's Committee on Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.
The report is basically a "wish list" of the business community. While some recommendations would improve how regulatory affairs are managed, many others would entirely eliminate regulations that protect the public interest -- gutting historic preservation, building and environmental regulation, and rent control. For several decades in the District of Columbia, both regulations and the management of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs have been markedly anti-business; some of the "reforms" suggested by the BRRC would tip the scale completely to the other side.
Many of the Commission's recommendations can be implemented by the Mayor without Council or Control Board approval. The City Council can pass legislation based on many of the other recommendations of the Commission. However, the DC Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority (the Control Board) is simultaneously doing its own independent review of regulatory reform. While the Control Board may take the Commission's recommendations into account, it is not bound by them. However, federal legislation on regulatory reform in the District of Columbia requires the Control Board to take the BRRC recommendations into account. (National Capital Revitalization and Self-Government Improvement Act of 1997, Sec. 11701(a)(1): "To the greatest extent possible, such review shall take into account the work and recommendations of the Business Regulatory Reform Commission . . . and other existing and ongoing public and private regulatory reform efforts.")
To get a copy of the BRRC Report, "Creating A Competitive Edge: The Time Is Now," contact the Commission at 441 4th Street, N.W., Room 1120, Washington, DC 20001, 202-727-8053, or the Legislative Affairs office of the City Council, Room 714. On this site, consult:
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