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Oregon Building Codes Division Advances e-Permitting Vision with Accela Citizen Access Software

Nation's first statewide e-permitting system provides 24/7 access to building permit applications for over 30 communities

LAS VEGAS, Nev., Aug. 5, 2009 – Today at its annual User Conference, Accela, Inc. announced that the Building Codes Division (BCD) within the State of Oregon's Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) is leveraging Accela Citizen Access™ software to provide 24/7 submission and tracking capability for the nation's first statewide, e-permitting program. The BCD's new Web site, www.BuildingPermits.Oregon.gov, expands the reach and functionality of the program, which was initiated in 2005 as a pilot project in the Portland metropolitan area. Oregon's program now serves building contractors from 33 municipal building departments statewide and has processed more than 53,000 permits totaling over $5.3 million.

The site launch marks a milestone in Accela’s $10 million, 10-year contract with DCBS. Signed in August 2008, the agreement tapped Accela to provide the back-end and portal software for a comprehensive e-building program that will continue to expand the permitting services available to contractors across Oregon. Using Accela Citizen Access as a portal, the BCD’s new site provides enhanced functionality for mechanical, electrical and plumbing permits – allowing customers to determine which permits are required in different jurisdictions; apply and pay for them in a single “shopping cart”, and access a list of their permits and authorizations at any time. The system also allows DCBS to offer brokered services, in which fees from one consolidated transaction are then dispersed by the state to appropriate jurisdictions. (See related press release “Oregon Enhances e-Permitting Services”.)

“Previously, our contractors didn’t have the tools to effectively manage scattered permit applications across communities,” said Patrick Allen, BCD Administrator. “Although we’re enabling that now, we also view this as the first step toward our vision of a full-service system that will allow participating city and county administrations to offer customers statewide the ability to request inspections, apply for structural permits, and submit detailed plans with the same one-stop, around-the-clock accessibility.”

“When it comes to vision and innovation in government services, Oregon is leading the way,” said Maury Blackman, Accela’s CEO and President, “Collaborative, government-shared services of this kind will be key drivers of future economic growth – reducing inter-government bureaucracy, streamlining business processes, boosting revenues, and increasing the economic competitiveness of communities large and small. Accela believes that advanced technology can help make it happen.”

Oregon’s contract includes some of Accela’s most advanced solutions. Accela Citizen Access currently serves as the BCD site’s portal – the “engine” that provides the public with 24/7 online access to the status of the applications. A part of the Accela Automation® product suite, Accela Citizen Access provides a complete solution from start to finish. Citizens can carry out entire processes and take advantage of many government services from the convenience of their home or office.

Over time, DCBS will incorporate the additional features of Accela Automation, Accela’s flagship product, which provides government departments and agencies with powerful capabilities to automate workflow, forms management, activity tracking, cashiering, and other important tasks, including: permitting and building, licensing, planning, public works, transportation, and more. Accela Automation is designed to:

• connect different systems and users across departments and jurisdictions;

• provide a personalized and easy-to-use interface for accessing information;

• adapt and scale easily to support expanding long-term needs;

• enhance public access and self-service.

DCBS will also leverage the Accela Land Management™ module of Accela Automation, which allows city departments to automate the hundreds of steps involved in completing a permit.

About Oregon's BCD and DCBS

Oregon’s Building Codes Division is a part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, and adopts statewide construction standards used by 134 city and county building departments throughout the state. For more information, visit www.bcd.oregon.gov. The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For details, visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov.