City of Berkeley Selects Accela Automation for Online Business Licensing and Permitting
Business-friendly web portal to enable more efficient service delivery and reduce foot traffic at city’s Permit Service Center
BERKELEY, Calif., June 27, 2012 – Accela, Inc., the leader in solutions for government-citizen interaction, is pleased to announce that the City of Berkeley, Calif., will deploy Accela Automation® enterprise software to serve as an online permitting and business license management system for the city’s 113,000 residents, professionals, and a wide variety of businesses.
Berkeley joins a string of major San Francisco Bay Area communities which have recently selected Accela Automation, including the City and County of San Francisco’s departments of Planning and Building Inspection and the City of Oakland’s Community and Economic Development Agency (CEDA).
Berkeley’s Department of Planning & Development will use Accela Automation to make it easier for residents, businesses, and building professionals to apply for permits via the Internet, instead of making trips to Berkeley’s Permit Service Center, and to more easily determine the permits they need. Home to the University of California at Berkeley, the city actively supports green building practices and technologies, including solar systems, water reuse, and electric vehicle infrastructure. Online permitting capability will help improvecompliance with Berkeley’s regulations and codes, while also shortening approval cycles for the benefit of residents, businesses, and the municipal economy.
In addition, Berkeley’s Department of Finance will use Accela Automation to enable fast and easy renewals of all types of business licenses via the web. Local businesses are required torenew licenses annually, and the process of determining the type of business and associated fees can be complex. The automated online system will reduce time and hassle for businesses, cut down on paperwork for the city, and speed the payment process.
The new system promises to streamline the departments’ application and approval processes for permits and licenses, making them more user-friendly and transparent by simplifying the process of determining and paying for fees, enabling fast and easy scheduling of appointments, and giving customers visibility into the status of inspections, payments, and approvals.
For department staff, the completed system will augment internal workflows and collaboration, allowing workers to better understand the potential impact of construction projects or business models at the start, while also facilitating real-time communication of complex information and inspections, investigations and reviews.
The Accela Automation system, along with the powerful add-on applications Accela Citizen Access™ and Accela GIS™, will be deployed in early 2013. Accela Citizen Access will enable business owners, contractors and tradespeople to apply for permits or licenses and track their status online, while Accela GIS™ will help department workers interact with the GIS data in their Esri or Internet maps and obtain a geographic view of relevant records.
“Berkeley is looking for ways to continually improve service to the community,” said Maury Blackman, president and CEO of Accela. “The city’s goal is to cut foot traffic to their city offices by at least half over the next few years by offering faster, easier, and more efficient processes online. Accela is proud to play a part in helping this world-renowned city achieve this transformation.”
About Accela Automation
Accela Automation is a software platform designed to connect people to government and increase staff productivity. The platform is deployed by hundreds of agencies worldwide and impacts millions of citizens and businesses. The software, which can be deployed on-premise or hosted in the Accela Cloud, uses an open architecture and a centralized database—allowing information to be shared across departments and improving communication among agency, field staff, the public and businesses.