The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies is performing a “sunset review” of Colorado’s Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
The Colorado General Assembly sets specific dates that a particular agency, board, or, in this case, function of government will terminate unless the legislature passes new legislation to continue. A sunset review will generally question the need for regulation to protect the public. If regulation is determined to be needed, the sunset review will look for the least restrictive level of regulation consistent with the public interest.
Colorado announced on 15 October 2015 that it would put its Fair Debt Collection Practices Act up for a sunset review. Between then and 15 October 2016, all aspects of Colorado’s FDCPA will be reviewed using the following criteria:
- Whether regulation by the agency is necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare; whether the conditions which led to the initial regulation have changed; and whether other conditions have arisen which would warrant more, less or the same degree of regulation;
- If regulation is necessary, whether the existing statutes and regulations establish the least restrictive form of regulation consistent with the public interest, considering other available regulatory mechanisms and whether agency rules enhance the public interest and are within the scope of legislative intent;
- Whether the agency operates in the public interest and whether its operation is impeded or enhanced by existing statutes, rules, procedures and practices and any other circumstances, including budgetary, resource and personnel matters;
- Whether an analysis of agency operations indicates that the agency performs its statutory duties efficiently and effectively;
- Whether the composition of the agency’s board or commission adequately represents the public interest and whether the agency encourages public participation in its decisions rather than participation only by the people it regulates;
- The economic impact of regulation and, if national economic information is not available, whether the agency stimulates or restricts competition;
- Whether complaint, investigation and disciplinary procedures adequately protect the public and whether final dispositions of complaints are in the public interest or self-serving to the profession;
- Whether the scope of practice of the regulated occupation contributes to the optimum utilization of personnel and whether entry requirements encourage affirmative action;
- Whether the agency through its licensing or certification process imposes any disqualifications on applicants based on past criminal history and, if so, whether the disqualifications serve public safety or commercial or consumer protection interests. To assist in considering this factor, the analysis prepared pursuant to subparagraph (i) of paragraph (a) of subsection (8) of this section shall include data on the number of licenses or certifications that were denied, revoked, or suspended based on a disqualification and the basis for the disqualification; and
- Whether administrative and statutory changes are necessary to improve agency operations to enhance the public interest.
The review itself is still in its early stages, and Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Agencies is looking for as much input as possible from all affected parties. If you would like to schedule a conversation with Bryan Jameson, Lead Analyst on this sunset project, he can be reached via email. Jameson is looking for insight into each of the 10 criteria, especially ways in which Colorado’s FDCPA negatively affects business; or, even, ways in which Colorado’s FDCPA can be augmented.