DEP head pledges improved transparency, reduced red tape

The head of the state Department of Environmental Protection has pledged  “changing the culture” of the department and improving transparency.

Speaking at the 19th Annual Mayors’ Legislative Day at the League of Municipalities convention Wednesday, Commissioner Bob Martin pledged to have all DEP regulations reviewed, hoping to speed up the process and “rid the spaghetti” that’s been created, without compromising high environmental standards.

To change the culture of the DEP, Martin said a big focus will be on improving customer service. He said all agency employees – conservation workers, park police, engineers, permit officers, among others – will be trained in the importance of providing good customer service.

He also stressed the importance of embracing technology to reduce red tape and “piles of paperwork.” Martin hopes to have all permits put online, in which the application process, among other things, is all done electronically.

“We have to use technology to drive productivity.”

The department has seen its work force reduced from 4,000 to 2,800 employees.