Open Government Report 2014

To institutionalize a culture of transparent and open government, accountability, and to
expand opportunities for resident participation and collaboration, this report describes
how the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) has and will continue to
develop and enhance transparency, public participation, and collaboration. In accordance
with Mayor’s Order 2014-170, this report addresses the following topics:

ABRA is committed to providing transparent administrative practices and decisions
to the public. As part of this effort, the agency makes information readily available to
the public through a multi-pronged approach that includes utilizing the agency’s
website, email update function (listserv), Twitter and Facebook pages, D.C. Register
site, and providing timely responses to public information requests via FOIAXpress.
 ABRA’s website provides a host of documents that detail agency activities
and decisions regarding licensees, the majority of which are posted and
archived online on a weekly basis. This includes the Alcoholic Beverage
Control Board’s (Board) weekly calendar and agenda items, Board issued
decisions, Board orders, Board hearing transcripts as well as public hearing
notices. In addition, lists of current alcoholic beverage license holders, District
of Columbia Court of Appeals decisions, Board rulemakings, data resulting
from Noise Task Force compliance checks, and settlement agreements are
also updated regularly. Media releases and newsletters are posted and
disseminated in a timely fashion, keeping the public informed of the latest
alcoholic beverage licensing news in the District. ABRA’s opt-in email
updates service is another beneficial tool for communicating with the public
and licensees. As part of this initiative, individuals can sign up to receive
weekly Board calendar, agenda and disposition notices; ABRA media releases
and newsletters; training information; and other information pertinent to ABC
licensees. In addition, ABRA utilizes its Twitter and Facebook pages to
inform licensees and the public of events, decisions and the wealth of
information that is available on its website.
 The Board regularly issues rulemakings regarding regulations and moratorium
zones. Prior to issuing these decisions, the Board seeks input from the public.
ABRA provides notice to the public regarding these opportunities through
public hearings notices, web calendar posts, and online media releases and
newsletter articles. Notifications are also emailed through the listserv, posted
on the D.C. Register, tweeted and messaged on Facebook.
 ABRA utilizes FOIAXpress to comply with all District FOIA-related





ABRA is always looking at new and innovative ways to communicate and
provide information to the public. As part of this effort, the agency listens to
the public to learn the types of information they need readily available and to
find the best way to provide it to them in an efficient fashion. In addition,
ABRA is looking at new ways to improve the records search function
provided on its website as a means to make finding documents as simple and
efficient as possible.
The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board Hearing Room has been equipped
with cameras and microphones that allow for the recording and webcasting of
Board hearings. ABRA is in the process of assessing resources needed to
make Board hearings available online and to ensure compliance with
accessibility requirements.
ABRA is working closely with the Office of the City Administrator (OCA)
and the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) to identify a
significant number of datasets that OCA and OCTO expect to publish online
later this year. If no dataset from ABRA is selected to be included in this 2014
release, we will continue to work with OCA and OCTO to identify datasets
appropriate to publish in 2015. In the future, requirements for open data
reporting will be provided by the Chief Data Officer.

Public Engagement and Participation
There are a variety of ways members of the public can participate in the alcoholic
beverage licensing process. This includes providing input at Board rulemakings;
filing a protest against an application for a license, a substantial change to a license or
the renewal of a license; or entering into a settlement agreement with an
establishment, which becomes part of the terms of an operating alcoholic beverage
license. In addition, ABRA provides a number of training opportunities to licensees,
community groups and members of the public aimed at educating them on District
alcoholic beverage laws, regulations and tips for best practices.
 ABRA posts proposed rules and regulations on its website as well as the D.C.
Register in advance of any public hearings. In addition, the calendar feature
on ABRA’s website lists all public hearings and notices seeking public input.
These items are also disseminated to members of the public that have opted-in
to ABRA’s email updates. ABRA news releases and newsletters provide these
notices more widely to members of the media and public. In addition, hearings
that solicit public input are posted on ABRA’s Twitter and Facebook pages.
Members of the public are able to provide testimony either in person or in
writing, which may be either emailed or mailed. All testimony is made a part
of the Board’s official record. Copies of these records are provided to the
public upon request.
 ABRA posts Board calendar and agenda notices as well as notices of public
hearings on its website and the D.C. Register on a weekly basis as a means of
informing the public of upcoming hearings, which are open to the public.
Public hearing notices inform the public of an application to issue, change or




renew an alcoholic beverage license. Members of the public may protest the
issuance, change or renewal of a license pursuant to Section 601 of D.C.
Official Code, Title 25. Notices of public hearings also provide the dates and
steps required to protest a license application. Physical copies of these notices
are also posted in the form of placards on applicant establishments. In addition
to these hearings, members of the public are also welcome to provide input to
the agency via Twitter, Facebook and Ask the Director forums. Members of
Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs) and community groups can
also direct inquiries to ABRA’s Community Resource Advisor.
Since alcoholic beverage licensing can draw interest from a variety of
stakeholders, including District residents, business owners and community
groups, ABRA welcomes all stakeholders to participate in the process. ABRA
provides educational opportunities to all stakeholders throughout the year
and aims to build constructive, lasting relationships between ABC licensees
and members of the community. The agency holds five licensee orientation
classes annually that are open to the public as well as licensees. Past attendees
have included members of ANCs and community associations, D.C.
government employees, prospective and current licensees, and interested
District residents. Other trainings held multiple times each year include ID
Compliance training and Books and Records training. Information about all
trainings is provided to the public through the agency’s website, listserv,
flyers and social media posts.
ABRA will continue to look at new and innovative ways and tools that will
allow the public to participate in ABC trainings, hearings and to provide
feedback on ABRA processes.

ABRA works closely with the Executive Office of the Mayor, the District of
Columbia Council, other District agencies, community associations, ANCs and local
colleges and universities to promote the health, safety and welfare of citizens
patronizing more than 1,900 ABC establishments in the District.
 Since 2009, ABRA has collaborated with the Metropolitan Police Department
(MPD), the National Capital Coalition to Prevent Underage Drinking
(NCCPUD), Addiction Prevention and Recovery Administration (APRA),
American University, Catholic University, Gallaudet University, Georgetown
University, George Washington University, Howard University, Trinity
Washington University and the University of the District of Columbia on the
D.C. Double Check 101 program, which utilizes a dynamic approach to
prevent underage drinking in the District. ABRA is also a member of the
Noise Task Force, a partnership with the Department of Consumer and
Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) and Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). The
Noise Task Force conducts checks at D.C. businesses to ensure compliance
with District noise laws and also responds to noise complaints.



ABRA works closely with the Executive Office of the Mayor and the District
of Columbia Council each year to implement new alcoholic beverage laws
and regulations.
ABRA will continue to collaborate with these groups to provide the best in
public service to licensees and the community.