Colorado’s Private Investigators Licensure Act Revisited
In Colorado, legislators introduced a bill, HB20-1207 for the 2020 session that concerns the established license requirements for all Colorado private investigators. The bill, which is basically a continuation of current Colorado law, requires Colorado investigators to be licensed and continues the regulation of private investigators for 5 years, until September 1, 2025.
However, the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) conducted a Sunset Review in 2019 and consequently presented a sunset (dismissal) request. DORA’s key recommendation states, “Because the public interest is not protected from clear, understandable harm by the licensing of PIs, the General Assembly should sunset the Act." Based on their analysis and statement, consumers are not directly impacted by private investigator regulation and therefore HB20-1207 is not necessary and provides too strict regulation.
In turn, the Professional Private Investigators Association of Colorado (PPIAC) testified to the various types of harm that a non-regulated system could cause and the risks associated with the law not remaining in place. The PPIAC urges that HB20-1207 pass to maintain license requirements for CO private investigators to protect consumers from malicious or fake investigators.
What is a Sunset Review?
In 1976, the Colorado General Assembly put the sunset review process into motion. This periodic assessment serves to analyze and evaluate regulatory programs to determine the least restrictive regulation that maintains the public interest. During the process, regulatory bodies determine whether or not a program should continue in its path to become law by the legislature.
In order to make reliable recommendations, these reviews look at the public's right to consistent, high-quality professional or occupational services and businesses’ ability to exist and thrive in a competitive market, free from unnecessary regulation.
What Colorado Private Investigators can do
If Colorado private investigators want to support the current licensure law, there are steps they can take. If you ever observed harm to consumers due to unregulated investigators since 2015, report your experience directly to DORA. Complaints can also be forwarded to PPIAC since they are also interested in any harm or incidences committed prior to licensing.
Interested investigators can also attend the licensing hearings. Attendees do not need to testify if they do not feel comfortable doing so but their presence would convey the potential impact of licensing loss. The next hearing is on March 2nd, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. in the House Finance Committee in Room HCR0112 in the Legislative Services Building at 200 E. 14th Ave, Denver, CO 80203 directly south of the Capitol building. Please check the bill's status frequently for changes to this schedule.
PPIAC will also post updates on its online blog. For Colorado PIs who are not members of PPIAC, you can apply and receive all the benefits of membership. PPIAC provides representation for PI licensing as well as other legislative matters impacting the profession.