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Governor Signs Bill Adding Full-Time Investigator to AELS Board


Legislation also modernizes laws to streamline testing for Architects, Engineers & Land Surveyors

ANCHORAGE-Today, Governor Sean Parnell signed legislation allowing the state’s Board of Architects, Engineers, and Land Surveyors (AELS) to hire a full time inspector.

Senate Bill 16, sponsored by Senator Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage Hillside/Turnagain Arm/North Kenai, allows the Board of Architects, Engineers and Surveyors (AELS Board) to hire a full-time investigator specifically for the Board, and updates the law so that licensing exams can be taken by means other than written (such as on the computer).

“This is another way we are ensuring that Alaska is known as ‘Open for Business’,”said Senator Giessel.  “With the recent passage of oil production tax reform, our workforce is already growing!  And that includes professional engineers!  By modernizing and expediting the licensing process with proper oversight, more businesses and professionals are going to realize that Alaska is the best place to invest.”

According to the board, because of the negative economic conditions in various parts of the United States, a significant number of corporations and individuals are relocating to Alaska.  It is important to ensure that our workforce has the proper licensure or knowledge of applicable statutes and regulations.

In 2012 alone, the AELS Board added 490 new licensees to its oversight.  Under previous law, the AELS Board shared a part time investigator with six other boards.  All told, those boards oversee over 18,000 licensees.  Of those licensees, 6439 - or 36% - are under the purview of the AELS Board. 

Senator Giessel, who served for many years on the Alaska Board of Nursing, understands the importance of a timely resolution to claims.  “Justice delayed is justice denied” Senator Giessel said, “if a complaint is filed, and an investigator can’t get to it quickly because he or she is stretched thin trying to cover the needs of seven boards, the public and the professional whose conduct is questioned loses.”

Like other Boards, the AELS board insures that the professionals under its jurisdiction are properly licensed and understand Alaska’s unique environment through education, testing and certification.  By doing so, the Board insures the reputation of the professionals is protected and, ultimately, that Alaska’s public health, safety and welfare are protected, too.

For more information, please contact Lindsay Williams in Senator Giessel’s office at (907) 269-0181.

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