I want to thank all the members of PNAI who have spent countless hours on various issues regarding our industry.
There have been proposed and enacted legislation over the last decade that have had some impact on our industry. As a member and current President of PNAI, myself, and others at PNAI, have decided to not only respond to those issues but to rally, address, and change what we feel is a burden to our profession.
PNAI spent a great deal of time and money (individually and collectively) to enlist the aid of a lobbyist to help us in one such undertaking. We believe that the PNAI funds are to be utilized to champion our causes. Though some felt the expense was great, we have already seen the dividends of having taken such a step. The lobbyist has contacted PNAI regarding the CPA exemption and provided us with a copy of the proposed legislation, and the name of the CPA lobbyist, who is, allegedly, one of the best lobbyists in the state.
That proposed legislation was immediately forwarded to all PNAI members for their comments. (Unchallenged, this proposed legislation would have passed without a doubt. ) PNAI members took the initiative and the time to submit a proposed change in that wording which would protect our industry. A meeting with the CPA lobbyist and a PNAI member resulted in a wording that appears to be agreeable to both parties. That wording will go forward in the proposed legislation, and is supported by PNAI.
In October 2014, I contacted the Washington State Department of Licensing and set up a meeting with DOL in December. Several PNAI members attended and discussed the proposed legislation concerning the CPA exemption. We were advised that our industry, “as a shareholder”, is very small in comparison to the CPA industry and that initial CPA legislation would most likely pass. A PNAI member advised DOL that he has been working with the CPA lobbyist to get wording favorable to both parties into the proposed legislation. DOL responded that based on this meeting, and the concerns expressed by PNAI, DOL would voice support to proposed legislation that was supported by PNAI.
I had previously suggested to DOL that the wording “Armed Private Investigator” be removed from the issued wallet card and instead encoded, and that a photograph of the investigator be placed on the wallet card. According to DOL, those changes will be implemented, but it will take time, as they have other more pressing matters. DOL advised us that some of our concerns, could be addressed by WAC as well as other administrative means.
In December 2014, PNAI was contacted by the law firm proposing a lawsuit against I-594. PNAI was asked to be a plaintiff. I immediately asked the membership for their feeling about becoming a plaintiff. The majority of our membership was in favor of being a plaintiff and PNAI joined as a plaintiff.
It is in the best interest of PNAI to champion those causes that will have both an immediate and residual impact on our industry. Membership in our organizations can only grow when those individuals in our profession see the value in our organization and the effort we put forward to ensure their professional standing.
Donald A. Bambenek II
Bambenek Investigative Group
4810 Pt. Fosdick Drive NW, 200
Gig Harbor, Washington 98335-1711
Association of Former Customs Special Agents
Pacific Northwest Association of Investigators Current President
Pacific Northwest License, Tax, and Fraud Association
Washington Association of Legal Investigators