Press Release Administrative Codes and Registers Section of NASS Honors Wisconsin’s Legislative Reference Bureau as the 2020 Robert J. Colborn, Jr. Innovation Award Winner

This is Mike Duchek (Senior Legislative Attorney, Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau) and his boss, Rick Champagne (Chief, Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau).

Washington, D.C. —  The Administrative Codes and Registers (ACR) Section of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) awarded the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau the 2020 Robert J. Colburn, Jr. Innovation Award at the association’s virtual annual conference for their work with the state’s Administrative Codes and Registers.

Wisconsin has undertaken a conversion of the Wisconsin Administrative Code and Register from a printed publication to an automated, integrated, and web-only publication system. The Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB) implemented this project while discontinuing the printed administrative code and register which reduced significant costs to the state.

Partners in this endeavor with LRB included the Wisconsin Legislative Technology Services Bureau (LTSB) with development, programming, and implementing an automated publication system for the administrative code and register, a new administrative rules website, and a centralized web-based rules document archive.

Completion of the project has reduced the costs and labor required for production while improving the presentation of, and accessibility to, administrative rules–related material on the Wisconsin Legislature’s website for both government and public users.

These efforts modernized Wisconsin’s rule publication practices by moving to an online rule publication system for both the code and register and an online service for notifying subscribers of updates while maintaining the essential functions of the register and the practice of regular, continuous revision of the code.

Because of these homegrown innovative features, the awards committee has selected the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau for their work on the Wisconsin Administrative Code and Register as this year’s Colborn Award recipient.

Administrative Codes and Registers (ACR), a section of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), 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 Robert J. Colborn, Jr. Innovation 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.

“We are honored to receive the Colborn Innovation Award and thank the ACR Section of NASS for recognizing Wisconsin’s modernization of its rules publication system. We would also like to thank the Wisconsin Legislative Technology Services Bureau, which assisted us throughout this project. The new rules publication system has changed the way that we do business, providing significant cost savings to taxpayers and increased public access to Wisconsin’s administrative code and register.”, said Richard Champagne, Chief of the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau.

 

2020 ACR Robert J. Colborn Jr. Committee:
Chair: Trinette Middlebrook
Rules Specialist
State of Idaho, Department of Health and Welfare
Phone: (208) 334-0440

Committee Member: Frank Powell
Rules Specialist
State of Idaho, Department of Health and Welfare
Phone: (208) 334-5775