CLEAR News - Winter 2000
by Lisa Russell Hahn
I want to take this opportunity to thank CLEAR's membership for allowing me to serve as your President in these exciting and productive times. Since I assumed office in September, there have been several initiatives that I believe will strengthen our shared goal of providing the best possible forum for understanding and improving regulation for the public good.
First though, I want to thank the speakers, members of the Program Committee and all those involved with our 20th annual conference for making it such a memorable one. The evaluations indicate that attendees found the meeting valuable and we look forward to building on that success to ensure that our meeting in San Antonio is even better.
Under the Presidency of Jim Guffey, we began work on the members-only section of CLEAR's web site (www.clearhq.org). I am delighted to see that the section is available and has been used by many of you. A survey of our members last Spring showed a general consensus that CLEAR could expand and improve upon its role as a clearinghouse of regulatory information by providing certain resources for membership. In response, online resources include a directory by occupation and jurisdiction of regulated professions; recent issues of Resource Briefs; CLEAR's Bylaws and Policies and Procedures; Committee and Board Minutes; Committee Lists; and, a listing of Central Agency Administrators. In addition, a Speakers Connection and Consultant Bank are being developed; and, a Message Forum is just getting started. (see Getting the Answers on page )
At the Miami annual meeting a new timeline was adopted for the planning of our conferences. This revision has enabled the Program Committee to start the review of session proposals prior to the midyear meeting. Efforts have also been enhanced to improve communication through a series of conference calls between board members and committee chairs to articulate the direction and theme of the annual meeting (Awakening to a New Frontier: The Relevance of Regulation). In addition, there is a greater emphasis on delineating the responsibilities of committee members to ensure that the entire process of developing the program continues to result in sessions that are timely, pertinent and fully constituted.
A new effort is also underway to create a task force made up of past presidents. The charge of this Leadership Resource Group is to identify and recruit leadership talent and to provide input on the recruitment and retention of other members. The hope is to have this group meet initially at the midyear business meeting in San Diego.
An Executive Leadership Training initiative is in the planning stages. Courses presently being offered to state regulatory employees are to be reviewed at the midyear business meeting and the development of course content is to begin. An interactive type course that will produce future leaders in the regulatory field is anticipated; and, certification may be awarded.
CLEAR is involved with two programs that assist veterans in the transition from the military to the private sector. The first is the Veterans Entrepreneurship and Business Development Act of 1999 (Public Law 106-50). This Act is intended to provide "assistance to small businesses owned and controlled by veterans,…". Of particular interest to CLEAR is the establishment of a Professional Certification Advisory Board "to create uniform guidelines and standards for the professional certification of members of the Armed Services to aid in their efficient and orderly transition to civilian occupations and professions and to remove potential barriers in the areas in licensure and certification." The Act specifies that CLEAR shall provide an advisory board member to meet at least quarterly for a term of two years.
The second measure is the Veterans Benefits and Health Care Improvement Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-419). Among other provisions, this Act provides for reimbursement for licensing or certification tests that are offered by approved organizations or entities, including government entities. Both the Coalition for Professional Certification and the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA) testified before Congress on this measure. Subsequently, NOCA has asked CLEAR to serve on an Ad Hoc Task Force to assist the Veterans Administration in establishing the necessary criteria to accredit the testing entities.
Finally, I want or remind everyone of our annual conference in San Antonio, Texas, September 13-15, 2001.The theme, mentioned above, invites critical thought and discussion. Coupled with a great location we expect a lively exchange of ideas that should make the meeting one of the best ever. Our program chairs, Sandy Greenberg, Donna Mooney and Gail Siskind are already reviewing session proposals and working with other CLEAR members to construct an outstanding program. And in that vein, I invite you all to volunteer and participate in CLEAR's activities as we continue to improve our service to the regulatory community while protecting the public interest.