State to host one-stop, Web permitting portal for building planning, inspection, compliance activities
HELENA, Mont., Dec. 16, 2009 – Accela, Inc., the leading provider of Web-based software that makes government services available 24/7, today announced that it has signed an agreement with the State of Montana to build a state-of-the-art online portal that will deliver a standardized e-permitting experience to building professionals operating across the nation’s fourth-largest state. The Building Codes Bureau (BCB) within Montana’s Department of Labor & Industry will implement Accela Automation® software and additional Accela solutions to standardize the experience and improve the efficiency of two important groups: customers seeking permits online; and the BCB’s office and field teams managing permit applications and inspections. The new portal is expected to launch in the summer of 2010.
With the Accela-based system, Montana’s BCB will automate the services it provides the building industry – such as construction plan review; permit application and approval; inspection scheduling; tracking and reporting; and professional licensing – and offer users a single “shopping cart” for their state building permits. Over the longer term, the system is intended to serve as a central e-permits platform for dozens of city and county jurisdictions across the state.
“To maintain a competitive economic edge, states today must think strategically about improving their operations and supporting their local governments,” said Maury Blackman, CEO and President of Accela. “The BCB’s phased, visionary approach underscores its commitment to ensure that Montana remains a great place to live and work for decades to come.”
BEST-OF-BREED TECHNOLOGY FOR STATE GOVERNMENT SERVICES
Accela technologies provide the backbone that states need in order to host, share and manage their services on the Web. Accela Automation facilitates more citizen-centric, performance-based government by automating the most critical regulatory functions and by connecting disparate systems and departments to information residing in a central database.
Montana’s BCB will deploy two key modules of Accela Automation: Accela Land Management™, which automates the hundreds of steps involved in completing a permit (such as initial application, plan reviews, fee calculation and collection, inspections/investigations, and sign-offs); and Accela Licensing & Case Management™, which automates licensing and registration programs (including business licenses, simple and complex registrations, and occupational licensing), based on an agency’s unique regulations, requirements, and internal procedures. The BCB will also leverage:
• Accela Citizen Access™ to provide the public with transparent, 24/7 online access to the permitting process and the status of their applications;
• Accela GIS™ for geographic representations of all land-use, zoning, and infrastructure information associated with a parcel, permit, inspection or plan;
• and Accela Wireless™, a mobile application that allows government staff to perform their jobs from the field for inspections, code enforcement, work orders, and service requests.
With these solutions in place, users will be able to apply and pay for permits, schedule inspections, check the status of their requests, or print an approved permit from their home or office. Meanwhile, the Accela system will allow BCB field inspectors to access the same data as back-office workers, share updates without returning to their office or hotel for data entry, and optimize their daily routes more effectively.