Ontario, Calif., Launches Accela Software Solution to Improve Rental Inspection Program
Web-based application to augment code enforcement standards for one of California's fastest-growing cities
ONTARIO, Calif., May 19, 2009 – The City of Ontario, Calif., has announced the launch of Accela Automation® software from Accela, Inc. to streamline processes related to the city’s rental property inspection program, covering approximately 11,000 discrete rental properties containing a combined total of more than 20,000 rental units. Leveraging Accela Automation will allow the Ontario Code Enforcement Department to more efficiently manage its inspection program and achieve its goal to proactively inspect roughly 25 percent of the city’s units per year, with each unit subject to a routine inspection every four years.
Like many cities across California, Ontario has experienced strong population growth in recent decades and has been one of California's fastest growing cities for more than 25 years. Located 35 miles east of Los Angeles, the city today is home to more than 170,000 residents within its nearly 50 square miles. As the volume of rental units has expanded, so has the challenge of maintaining high residence standards and collecting revenue from code violators.
Accela Automation is a web-based application that provides government departments and agencies with a solution to automate workflow, forms management, activity tracking, cashiering, and other important daily tasks. The City of Ontario is using Accela Automation to track and manage any enforcement actions that occur in association with the rental inspection program and to generate and invoice the annual fees for each rental property, which are used to support the inspection program. Four to six inspectors and five support staff are using the system on a regular basis and are able to access and share information from a centralized database, ensuring faster and more accurate delivery of services to the public.
“We realized we were inspecting a high volume of units every year,” said Peter Witherow, IT Applications Manager for the City of Ontario, “but often in response to existing violations or citizen complaints. Proactively inspecting all of our units every four years reflects more positively on the City’s commitment to maintain the quality of life for Ontario residents – and puts property owners on notice that they must adhere to codes. Accela Automation will help keep us ahead of the curve.”
“In today’s challenging economy, cities like Ontario are finding that proactive, aggressive inspection programs and revenue collection are paramount,” said Maury Blackman, President and CEO of Accela. “We applaud the City of Ontario for recognizing the many advantages of utilizing the best technology available to help it manage such an important and far-reaching program. Ontario serves as a benchmark for other communities concerned with providing the highest levels of service for similar quality of life initiatives.”
Ontario announced the deployment of additional Accela applications to enhance the functionality of Accela Automation, including:
• Accela Wireless™ is a mobile government software application that allows staff to perform their jobs from the field for inspections, code enforcement, and more. Ontario will make extensive use of Accela Wireless to provide real-time capture of any violations during the inspection process and record the exact applicable code section text into the Accela Automation database by unit and unit area (exterior, entry, living room, etc.) as the inspection progresses. This will provide the ability to produce same or next day automated notices for mailing to the responsible parties. Optimized for Intel Centrino® Mobile Technology, Accela Wireless is compatible with PDAs, laptops, and Tablet PCs running on the Microsoft Pocket PC 2003, Windows Mobile 5, Windows 2000, or Windows XP operating systems.
• Accela GIS™ seamlessly integrates with Accela Automation to provide powerful real-time visual analysis to enhance land use, zoning, and infrastructure data. It allows creation of multiple map layers, automated map analysis, parcel and asset inventory management, direct editing of GIS data or files, and auto-distribution of information to mailing lists. It is built on ESRI® technology.
TruePoint Solutions, an Accela Certified Partner for implementation services, provided system integration of Accela Automation in Ontario.