NASS Administrative Rules Organization Honors Office of Texas Secretary of State as 2019 Robert J. Colborn, Jr. Innovation Award Recipient

For Immediate Release — July 17, 2019 —

Washington, D.C. — The Administrative Codes and Registers (ACR) Section of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), which recently held its annual meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico, awarded the Texas Secretary of State with the 2019 Robert J. Colburn, Jr. Innovation Award.

The Texas Secretary of State developed the Texas Register and Texas Administrative Code Electronic Filing and Data Management System, an online electronic filing and data system that serves the needs of not only the staff of the Texas Register and Texas Administrative Code, but also the state agency staff who write and file state regulations, and the public who access and use the regulations.

While the initial system is not brand new, significant updates in 2014 and 2018 have enhanced the dynamic system’s usefulness to all three user groups. The system includes an online access portal for agencies filing both administrative rules and other miscellaneous documents. All filings submitted for publication in the Texas Register now flow through this portal. Agencies have access to previous filings and may download rules from the Texas Administrative Code in a variety of formats as well.

The current database system allows the Texas Administrative Code to be updated daily, allows for filing access for nearly 300 agencies, and includes historical versions of rules going from the present day to January 1999.

“The Texas Registers and Texas Administrative Code Electronic Filing and Data Management System is a great example of a state providing increased efficiency and transparency in the publication of administrative rules,” said ACR President Chris Coffman. “I was excited that our members in the Administrative Codes and Registers Section were able to present the Texas Secretary of State with the 2019 Robert J. Colburn, Jr. Innovation Award.”

ACR created the Robert J. Colborn, Jr. Innovation Award in July 2001 in honor of Robert J. Colborn, Jr., who served as the administrator of the Maryland Division of State Documents from 1974 through 2001 and founded ACR. The award annually recognizes a program that demonstrates creativity and innovation in providing public access to, or managing, administrative rules. It honors the state agency that has made substantial contributions to the flow of information to the public by improving efficiency and delivery of services to citizens, businesses, and other governmental entities.

“Transparency and access are paramount to maintaining trust with the public,” said Texas Deputy Secretary of State Jose Esparza. “Housed within the Secretary of State’s Office, the Texas Register’s administrative electronic filing and data management system provides the public with timely and user-friendly access to commonly requested resources. On behalf of our office, I thank ACR for recognizing the hard work of our staff by presenting us with the 2019 Colborn Award, and we look forward to continuing to serve the citizens of the Lone Star State.”

2019 ACR Robert J. Colborn Jr. Committee:  

Chair: Julia Yamaka, Manager, Oregon Administrative Rules

Member: Emma Gradian, Legislative Analyst/Administrative Rules Editor, Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau

Member: Mike Broschinsky, Coordinator, Utah Office of Administrative Rules  

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