Springfield, Mass., Pushes Toward Greater Efficiency, Transparency with Accela Automation Software
Deployment of Advanced, e-Government Solutions to Empower City Workers and Connect Citizens to Government
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Sept. 22, 2009 – Accela, Inc. today announced that the city of Springfield, Mass., has selected Accela Automation® Web-based software to improve public services, enhance inter-department coordination, and provide greater transparency to citizens. Accela’s flagship solution will be deployed across multiple departments responsible for planning, building and zoning, public health and safety, and public works, allowing those teams to access information from a central database and track their activities more effectively. Add on solutions such as Accela GIS™ and Accela Wireless™ will also equip field inspectors with critical data to improve productivity in the field, while Accela Citizen Access™ will provide the public with an online portal to track applications, permits, and code-enforcement actions.
Springfield has 40 inspectors who perform more than 50,000 inspections every year. The deployment of the Accela Automation platform will support Springfield’s vision to improve the city’s efficiency in delivering services and its responsiveness to citizen requests – particularly amid challenges to city budgets. Springfield’s additional goals include capturing all permits and property-based licenses in a common system; enforcing city codes fairly and consistently; and empowering city inspectors with greater mobility to reduce time spent on administrative functions.
Springfield’s CIO Tom Collins highlighted how the system will support the city’s needs. “Since many code-enforcement issues can span departments, it’s important to provide shared access to information that can readily be acted upon by any department,” Collins noted. “With Accela’s strong mobility platform, a rental inspector on our Housing Code Enforcement team investigating an existing maintenance violation might spot an electrical problem that could immediately be added to records and flagged for Fire Department follow-up. We expect this will improve adherence to codes and collection of fines.”
“But helping the public is also vital,” Collins added. “Residents who report violations should be able to track the status of their complaint, while those who pay their fines should have a window into the processing of their code case. We hope our citizen portal will provide the public with a better understanding of how our departments and inspectors work.”
“Improving services, adding value, maximizing staff time and budgets, and strengthening the connection between government and the public are what effective government technologies are all about,” said Maury Blackman, Accela’s CEO and President. “The City of Springfield is demonstrating the kind of vision and strategic thinking that lie at the heart of successful governance.”
Accela Solutions Support e-Government
Accela’s flagship product, Accela Automation delivers a complete solution to automate workflow, forms management, activity tracking, cashiering, and a host of other functions. The software standardizes agency processes via a centralized suite of solutions operating off a common database, and connects disparate systems and users across departments, while providing a personalized user interface. Other Accela solutions will enhance Springfield’s deployment.
• Accela Citizen Access provides real-time, direct access via the Internet to agency permit and land management activities. Online permit applications can be configured to allow citizens and businesses access to apply and pay for permits, schedule inspections, check the status of a permit or inspection, or print an approved permit directly from the Internet 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
• 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.
• Accela Wireless is a mobile government software application that allows government staff to perform their jobs from the field for inspections, code enforcement, work orders, and service requests.
With a population of more than 150,000, Springfield is the third largest city in Massachusetts and the fourth largest in New England. It is home to the Basketball Hall of Fame and surrounded by numerous institutions of higher learning. More information on the city can be found at: www.springfieldcityhall.com.