2013 Robert J. Colborn, Jr. Innovation Award

Recipient: Utah’s Division of Administrative Rules
Presentation: For eRules Administrative Rule Filing and Publication System

See Press Release about the award here.

Kenneth A. Hansen (right) director Utah Division of Administrative Rules accepts the 2013 Colborn Award from ACR President Scott Cancelosi

Kenneth A. Hansen (right) director Utah Division of Administrative Rules accepts the 2013 Colborn Award from ACR President Scott Cancelosi

For more than 20 years, the Utah State Division of Administrative Rules (Division) has used some type of electronic filing system for the submission of administrative rules.  Beginning with experiments on a Wang system, through an application written in Paradox, to simply submitting material over email, to web-based systems, the Division has continuously recognized the benefits of electronic submission.

Committee Statement:
As a forerunner in establishing electronic filing, Utah was selected by the Awards Committee for its on-going commitment to improve access to regulatory information while being cost-efficient and user-friendly to state agencies. 

Executive Summary (provided online per ACR Bylaws)
eRules version 2 has improved the operation of government in several ways.  It is more cost effective to use and to maintain, permits fewer errors in filings, provides improved security, and helps address continuity of operations concerns.

eRules uses standard technologies so that special proprietary software, or programmers with unique (and expensive) skills, are not required to maintain or enhance the system.  The cost to make changes to eRules version 1 in 2006 ran over $250/hour.  The cost to make changes to eRules version 2 in 2010 runs $72/hour.

eRules version 2 has reduced the time the Division was spending fixing common mistakes.  The application introduced basic error checking (or form validation) to reduce filing errors made by agency rulefilers as they prepare filings.  When a rulefiler enters an incorrect date, or leaves a box on the form blank that is required, eRules notifies the user of the error and requires a correction before the rule may be filed.

eRules version 2 uses a new security paradigm.  eRules version 1 provided initial security that would only permit authorized uses into the system.  However, from that point, the security in the old application was “security by obscurity.”  Individuals could have filed rules for another agency, or deleted draft filings prepared by someone else.  Now, individuals may only act upon filings for their specific agencies.

eRules version 2 helps the Division address continuity of operations concerns by automating many routine steps.  Now, with a staff of only 3.75 FTEs, it is essential that the Division of Administrative Rules have systems and procedures in place so that if the proverbial truck strikes, rule filing and publication can continue.


CHAIR: Elizabeth Palen, Executive Director Joint Commission on Administrative Rules Richmond, Virginia

Jon Davidson, Administrative Rules Coordinator, Arkansas Secretary of State, Little Rock, Arkansas

Scott Cancelosi, Director, Public Services Division, Arizona Secretary of State’s Office, Phoenix, Arizona

2014 Where are they now? [Presented at the 2014 Winter Meeting]

See PDF Letter from Ken Hansen