INDEPENDENT. Nothing but the highest possible standards of ethical performance and professionalism should influence regulation. However, independence does not imply isolation. All available facts and opinions must be sought openly from those we regulate and other interested members of the public. The many and possibly conflicting public interests involved must be considered. Final decisions must be based on objective, unbiased assessments of all information, and must be documented with reasons explicitly stated.
OPEN. All regulation is the public's business, and it must be transacted publicly and candidly. The public must be informed about and have the opportunity to participate in the regulatory processes. Open channels of communication must be maintained with the legislature, other government agencies, the regulated community, and the public.
EFFICIENT. The Texas taxpayer and the regulated community are entitled to the best possible management and administration of regulatory activities. The highest technical and managerial competence is required, and must be a constant agency goal. The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) must establish means to evaluate and continually upgrade its regulatory capabilities. Regulatory activities should be consistent with the degree of risk reduction they achieve. Where several effective alternatives are available, the option which minimizes the use of resources should be adopted. Regulatory decisions should be made without undue delay.
CLEAR. Regulations should be coherent, logical, and practical. There should be a clear nexus between regulations and agency goals and objectives where explicitly or implicitly stated. DSHS positions should be readily understood and easily applied.
RELIABLE. Regulations should be based on the best available knowledge from research and operational experience. Systems interactions, technological uncertainties, and diversity within the regulated community, and regulatory activities must all be taken into account so that risks are maintained at an acceptably low level. Once established, regulation should be perceived to be reliable and not unjustifiably in a state of transition. Regulatory actions should always be fully consistent with written regulations and should be promptly, fairly, and decisively administered so as to lend stability to the operational and planning processes.