ePermitting Taking Shape
The e-permitting pilot project is live in the towns of Yarmouth, Chatham and Nantucket, with two more in the planning stages for 2014.
Supported by a 2012 Community Innovation Challenge grant from the Massachusetts Office of Administration and Finance, the Barnstable County Digital Regionalization Project piloted an e-permitting for the towns of Yarmouth, Chatham and Nantucket.
Continuing funding from District Local Technical Assistance (DLTA) grants will help bring on more communities. Harwich and Provincetown are the next towns to be added, with strong interest for several others.
After a competitive bidding process coordinated through the county Purchasing Department, Accela (http://www.accela.com/) was selected to develop a regional e-permitting platform. Accela is a global leader in government automation, electronic transactions and civic engagement, providing services for more than 500 government agencies worldwide.
When fully implemented, the online system will allow Cape Cod municipalities to issue and monitor permits, licenses, and inspections, with a web-based portal for citizens and contractors. The system will implement a common technology infrastructure and software to be adopted regionally but tailored to each town. One goal is to eliminate redundant individual purchases and save public municipal funds.
Participating towns are required to purchase licenses from Accela to utilize the software and administration of the permits, inspections and other duties remains with towns and their staff.
Along with providing technical support for implementation, the Cape Cod Commission is covering the cost of public access piece, a key component for permit seekers and those looking for information. These citizen access portal allowing resident to apply for permits and check the status of projects in their neighborhoods.
The system is designed to handle a comprehensive set of permitting and licensing needs, including permits and inspections for building and health departments, beach sticker, dog licenses, food and liquor licenses, as well as afire, zoning conservation and all other permits issued through town agencies.
Dave Sullivan, applications implementation manager for the Commission, said that along with unifying licensing operations within a town, Accela integrates with commonly used financial software. This allows parcel-specific tax and record information to be reviewed during the application process. It also integrates with the state Division of Professional Licensure database.
For more information about the ePermitting Initiative, Click Here.