Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau to Implement Accela Software to Improve Permitting and Regulation
Federal customer to reap benefits of advanced technology from leading provider of e-permitting solutions for state/local governments
WASHINGTON, Sept. 29, 2009 – Accela, Inc. announced today that the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has selected Federal ePermits to implement Accela Automation® software in order to streamline the validation and authorization processes for businesses in these regulated industries. Moving from a heavily paper-based system, TTB will deploy Accela Automation as a Permits Online solution to support increasing application volumes, reduce costs, and improve service. TTB’s Cincinnati-based National Revenue Center (NRC) will be a primary recipient of the technology.
The newest bureau within the Department of the Treasury, TTB employs nearly 600 and is responsible for enforcing and administering laws covering the production, use, and distribution of alcohol and tobacco products. TTB also collects excise taxes for firearms and ammunition. All alcohol- and tobacco-related businesses wishing to operate above the retail level must submit an application and multiple supporting documents to TTB – and all of these flow to the 56 staff members of the NRC. The NRC currently processes 23 different original or amended applications that are used to authorize 19 different kinds of permits and registrations. In fiscal 2008, NRC staff screened approximately 5,600 paper-based original application packets and nearly 20,000 amendments to existing applications. With application rates expected to continue their 17 percent average annual growth for the foreseeable future, TTB has made automation and efficiency top priorities.
“We are a small agency that prides itself on efficiency and uses every opportunity it can to maximize the resources we have so that we can use our resources for enforcement purposes,” said Mary Ryan, Assistant Administrator Field Operations at TTB. “Although application packets can be downloaded and printed from our website, the applicants need to complete and mail the packets for manual processing – at great cost in time and resources. Switching to a secure electronic submission process will save both applicants and TTB significant time and money, and will help ensure industry compliance with Federal regulations well into the future.”
TTB will leverage the Accela Land Management™ module of Accela Automation to automate the hundreds of steps involved in approving complex permits, from application to authorization. Accela Automation will supply the back-end functionality allowing TTB staff to seamlessly access application information from a single database and share status information across teams. The Bureau also will deploy Accela Citizen Access™ software to provide industry members with 24/7 submission and tracking capability throughout the process. When completed, the new system will provide:
• Secure electronic submission capability for applications;
• Workflow functionality to facilitate online routing, review, and correction of submitted information;
• Online help to guide industry users through the submission processes;
• Reporting and tracking capability for both TTB staff and customers to keep tabs on application status
Federal ePermits, a joint venture between Washington-based TechGlobal, Inc. and Peak Technology Solutions, Inc., will provide systems integration and implementation services. The new system is expected to deploy in 2011.
“Government agencies at every level realize that innovation and long-term planning are critical,” said Maury Blackman, Accela’s CEO and President. “As with Accela’s hundreds of state and local government customers, Federal agencies like TTB want to improve service, reduce overhead and stretch taxpayer dollars. Accela Automation not only supports these bread-and-butter objectives, but also delivers the increased transparency and self-service capability that the public demands.”
Headquartered in Washington, TTB operates major facilities in Ohio (the NRC), Maryland and California, and a further 17 field offices. TTB also supports a substantial mobile workforce nationwide. The Bureau’s primary responsibility is to protect the public and collect revenue, which it does by developing regulations, conducting product analyses, and ensuring tax and trade compliance with the Federal Alcohol Administration Act and the Internal Revenue Code. Further information on TTB services may be found at: www.ttb.gov.