Action Items

  • Government cost accounting should be modified to identify all cost components of producing various services. The units of service produced and the cost per unit should be reported to the public and the media.
  • Clarify the respective duties of various government entities and prohibit them from declaring themselves exempt from each other’s laws. If a county has jurisdiction over zoning, a park district cannot declare itself exempt. If a city has jurisdiction over building codes, fire codes, and sign codes, school districts must yield to city rules and procedures.
  • Governments should specify in clear terms why they are being formed and the scope of their functions. This can be called an annual business plan. These functions should be subject to periodic sunset review by a vote of the citizenry.
  • Governments should not compete with each other. The same services should not be supplied by two governments to the same geographic area or to the same customer base.
  • Governments should be governed by their own laws. Since regulations exist to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public, it is inappropriate for a government to be exempt from any regulation. This applies equally to regulatory procedures, such as plan reviews, permitting, testing, and inspection. This is especially true when a government operates in competition with private businesses.
  • Governments that compete with private businesses should avoid the conflict of interest that exists when they function as a regulator. Their regulatory responsibility should be reassigned to an independent agency.
  • Government agencies that supply private goods to consumers in competition with taxpaying businesses should not be exempt from taxes or fees.
  • Government agencies that compete with private businesses should not be exempt from laws and regulations designed to protect consumers. Examples of such laws include exemption from liability and from anti-trust statutes.
  • Develop procedures and guidelines for governments to divest from services when government monopoly is no longer needed. This occurs when there is a technology shift or when there is an evolution in market demand creating the opportunity to grow private sector competitive suppliers.
  • CRS Title 24, Article 113, “State Government Competition With Private Enterprise” should be amended and enlarged:
    • To apply to all governments, not just the state.
    • To provide damage relief to injured businesses and individuals.
    • To impose penalties against individuals personally who knowingly participate in injury to existing businesses.
    • Remove the complaint and administrative responsibility for this law from the Colorado Office of Regulatory Reform (ORR) and reassign it to an advocacy branch of the state that is more likely to be concerned with saving jobs and protecting private property than enlarging government.
  • The advocacy agency should:
    • Define and streamline the complaint process.
    • Make the public aware that there are protections.
    • Log and track all complaints and remedies.
    • Report annually to the Governor and the Legislature.
  • Finally, activate the State’s Privatization Commission. Give it a charge such as enforcement or monitoring of CRS 194-24-113. Appoint commissioners dedicated to protecting small business, rather than protecting the government.