PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island has a new small business ombudsman who will try to make it easier to do business in a state known for bureaucratic hassles.

As ombudsman in the Office of Regulatory Reform, Nancy Scarduzio will provide customer assistance and help small businesses navigate the regulatory process in the state. She will also recommend regulatory changes aimed at streamlining state and municipal codes.

Scarduzio has worked since 2006 in the state Department of Environmental Management, most recently as principal marine biologist. In that role she was responsible for marine fisheries regulations and worked closely with commercial fishermen on permitting and regulatory issues.

She worked previously at the state health department as an environmental health food specialist.

Scarduzio's appointment was announced Friday by the Office of Management and Budget.