Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Josh Shapiro announced that all Commonwealth agencies under the Governor’s jurisdiction have completed a comprehensive review of their licensing, certification, and permitting processes – a critical step in the Governor’s mission to make government work efficiently and effectively for Pennsylvania residents and businesses.
Pennsylvania workers often wait months and are forced to navigate inefficient digital systems to receive their professional license, permit, or certification – and Governor Shapiro knows this must change. That’s why in one of his first actions as Governor, Governor Shapiro signed an executive order to improve response times and give Pennsylvanians more certainty when they apply for licenses, permits, or certificates through the Commonwealth. Applicants who do not receive a response in a reasonable timeframe will receive a refund of their application fee.
The review catalogued more than 2,400 total processes, including 750 licenses, 800 permits, and 360 certifications issued by Commonwealth agencies under the Governor’s jurisdiction. The Department of State issues the most – issuing more than 1,000 permits, certifications, and licenses — followed by the Department of Environmental Protection with 760. Previously, this catalogue of licenses, permits, and certifications across the entire Commonwealth had never been assembled.
“Thank you to my Office of General Counsel and to the agency staff who worked diligently to compile this information and are already working to improve our processes and make state government more responsive to the people we serve,” said Governor Shapiro. “Pennsylvania residents and businesses deserve a government that works efficiently and effectively to get them answers. Under my Administration, Pennsylvanians will have certainty – they will know how long it will take for agencies to respond, and if an agency doesn’t live up to that promise, they deserve their money back. Pennsylvanians work hard to keep our economy moving, and the Commonwealth should work just as hard to process their applications.”
Under the Governor’s executive order, state agencies had 90 days to compile a catalog of all the licenses, certificates, and permits they issue, including the statutory authority governing the time they must process applications and the application fee charged by each agency. As of May 1, all Pennsylvania agencies covered under the executive order have met the Governor’s deadline and completed this process.
Now, the Governor’s office will review, analyze, and establish efficient application processing times for all occupational permits or licenses based on agency recommendations. Once those recommendations are put in place, if an agency does not respond to an applicant, the agency will refund the application fee.
Already, the Administration is making progress in reducing wait times and inefficiencies with the system. Following this thorough review of all permits, licenses, and certifications, the Department of State reduced processing time for corporate filings from over 8 weeks down to 1.5 weeks and continues to improve this time on a daily basis.
Under the direction of the Governor, the Administration will continue to work expeditiously to ensure Pennsylvanians get responses in a timely manner – and the Shapiro Administration will have real skin in the game. Governor Shapiro is making clear his Administration will be customer-service oriented and that state government will work harder to get them a response, so that they can pursue their dreams.