The Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) is going green in 2016 by modernizing and upgrading its pesticide sales reporting operations.
Pesticide sellers who pay a fee on sales will soon be able to use an online system called MillPay to complete their reports and transactions. It will reduce errors, save paper and postage, and allow for online payments – either by electronic funds transfer or by using a credit card.
“It’s more convenient, it’s going to be time-saving, and it can be accessed 24 hours a day,” said DPR Product Compliance Branch (PCB) Chief Donna Marciano. That convenience extends to DPR employees who spend hundreds of hours each quarter inputting sales information and making sure fees have been paid. “Thousands of data lines won’t need to be manually entered,” Marciano said.
By innovating California’s method of reporting pesticide sales, DPR is meeting the administration’s goal of providing modernized customer service to all its stakeholders who pay into the mill assessment, which generates more than $65 million annually for the department.
DPR sends out approximately 8,000 pesticide sales reporting forms to vendors every year. Eighteen PCB staffers prepare forms for mailing each quarter, and completed forms are processed by hand. Some forms have up to 30 pages of data on pesticide sales.
With MillPay, pesticide vendors can access an easy-to-use template with their past reported sales information already listed. Or, they can upload a file that lists the current products, quantity, and number of sales being reported.
The system also has a self-populating calculator, so there’s less chance for error when it comes to adding up figures. Submitted forms often contain wrong or missing information, Marciano said, or incorrect calculations.
“There are many hundreds more hours checking accuracy and following up with reporting issues,” she said, noting that MillPay will eliminate much of that need.
More than 13,500 registered pesticide products are currently registered for sale in California. Not only will DPR get details on pesticide sales much faster when MillPay is up and running, but vendors can go back and see what they’ve reported to the state.
DPR will start the MillPay pilot program in March, with six companies taking part.
“They’re using it as they normally would, it’s a live system,” said DPR Program Technician Stephanie Duncan, who’s helping with the pilot program.
Ellen Bjornstad with Bell Laboratories, Inc. is among those who will be testing MillPay. She’s been with the company for 27 years, and has submitted many pesticide reports to California.
“By the time you type it all out, it can take three to four hours to fill out the forms,” she said. “I’m looking forward to an online, more streamlined version.”
Guest Post: California Department of Pesticide Regulation.