Public Policy Principles

The Association of Washington Business will propose, review, and evaluate all public policy proposals based upon the following principles:

1. Public policy should promote a healthy, free-market and globally competitive business climate that allows the private sector to prosper and expand without inference from non-private sector entities that directly compete with private enterprise.

2. Public policy should be developed and adopted in a responsive public process with the opportunity for the full participation of Washington’s citizens.

3. Public policy should be founded upon an analysis of the societal benefits weighed against the cumulative societal costs -- both public and private, direct and indirect.

4. Public policy should provide consistent and appropriate mitigation for those segments of the business community that incur a demonstrated adverse impact as a result of the policy’s adoption.

5. Public policy should achieve stated and measurable objectives, which can be verified through a legitimate evaluation and accountability system that also provides ongoing feedback to the implementing agency regarding the effectiveness of the policy.

6. Public policy should address a demonstrated need supported by documented evidence and, where appropriate, proven scientific methodologies.

7. Public policy should provide for market-based incentives to achieve beneficial results.

8. Public policy should be implemented by a functional government that serves the people of the state in a timely, cost-effective, and efficient manner.

9. Public policy should establish clear and achievable requirements and legal tests that minimize the necessity for regulatory interpretation.

10. Public policy should ensure that state and local laws and regulations are integrated and simplified in order to avoid duplicative or inconsistent requirements or mechanisms.

11. Public policy should be consistent with federal law and regulations and deviate from federal standards only where there is a demonstrated, compelling need.

12. Public policy should support government innovation, competition, and flexibility to implement the most cost-effective and efficient means to deliver public services.

13. Public policy should maximize and prioritize the efficient use of public and private resources to achieve measurable public benefits.

14. Public policy should ensure that stakeholder committees and councils are representative of the types of business impacted by the public policy and selected by legitimate stakeholder organizations.

15. Public policy should, where appropriate, provide for predictable and fair sanctions with reasonable statutes of limitations and establish practical enforcement techniques with swift administrative resolution that avoids litigation.

16. Public policy should limit civil penalties to economic restitution or specific fines with appropriate ceilings and restrict criminal sanctions to individual acts involving criminal intent.

17. Public policy should contain implementation dates that allow adequate time to educate impacted entities and are consistent with other applicable regulatory or contractual time periods.

Approved by GAC on August 29, 2002

Approved by Executive Committee on September 6, 2002
Approved by Board of Directors on September 27, 2002

*This document can be downloaded in PDF form by clicking here.