Private investigators in Colorado must continue to carry their licenses for another year despite the fact Governor Jared Polis recently vetoed a bill, effectively killing off licensing for PIs. Jill Sarmo, a Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) spokeswoman, responded to Simon Crittle's questions below.
1) Are licenses valid through to next June? Or should PIs discard them now?
Licenses are valid through Aug. 31, 2021, when the one-year windup period expires.
2) If they are no longer valid, will DORA be offering refunds?
Private investigator 1 and 2 licenses are currently set to expire on May 31, 2021. While no policy is presently set on potential refunds, the possibility exists that the expiration date will be extended through the end of the windup period. Consistent with fee setting authority the division will utilize existing funding to administer the program through the wind up date, and does not anticipate additional fees, although the expiration date may necessarily be extended as part of the wind up process.
3) Do PIs have to maintain surety bonds through September? Next June?
Surety bonds are required through the entirety of licensure, which currently would end on Aug. 31, 2021.
4) Is DORA pleased the governor vetoed the bill given DORA opposed it?
Governor Polis cited COPRRR’s (Colorado Office of Policy, Research & Regulatory Reform) Sunset review of this program in his letter vetoing House Bill 1207. Neither the office nor the department will comment further.
5) What do you say to critics such as the Profession Private Investigators Association of Colorado who say consumers should “beware” as they are no longer protected by unscrupulous PIs?
Sunset is a statutorily mandated, data driven process. The data verify that while prior to licensing there may have been a thought that the public could be financially harmed by not regulating PIs, the research by COPRRR did not find that harm occurs. The data illustrate that while the number of licenses issued to PIs has increased from zero to nearly 900 during the time licensing has existed, disciplinary actions against licensed individuals are virtually nonexistent. When discipline has been taken, the infractions have not been directly associated with the harming of a consumer. This verifies the conclusions of five sunrise reviews that found the likelihood that a consumer would be harmed by a PI was minimal, and does not meet the threshold required for an occupational licensure program in a state where we endeavor to maintain only data and consumer protection-driven regulatory programs.
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