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San Francisco Department of Building Inspection and Planning Department Select Accela’s Cloud-based Software for e-Permitting System

Bay Area-based Accela, Inc. and 21Tech, LLC to collaborate on deployment of a transparent, integrated system to manage 60,000 building permits and 2,000 entitlements annually

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 27, 2011 – Accela, Inc., the San Ramon, Calif.-based leading provider of cloud- and web-based software applications for e-government, and 21Tech, LLC, a prominent San Francisco-based technology consultancy, today announced that the City and County of San Francisco (CCSF) has awarded the two companies a $4.5 million contract to deploy an automated permit and project tracking system for approximately 60,000 permits and 2,000 entitlements the City issues each year.  The companies have launched a joint venture, Accela – 21Tech, to serve the City on this project.

Built upon Accela Automation® enterprise software and planned for completion in late 2013, the integrated system will replace legacy solutions, which the Department of Building Inspection (DBI) and the Planning Department have outgrown and which no longer meet the City’s requirements for planning, permitting, inspections and accounting.  The new system will provide DBI and Planning with streamlined, transparent  processes that enable seamless data sharing across multiple CCSF department boundaries, and will deliver 24/7 online access for construction professionals and homeowners.

Serving a population of over 800,000 people across 200,000 parcels of land, the charters for DBI and Planning are broad.  In a push to improve transparency, efficiency and accountability, CCSF sought a system that can improve performance metrics, provide accurate data for permit and entitlement transactions, track revenue recovery, and reduce operating costs and processing times.  The deployment of Accela Automation will also facilitate eventual integration of information with that of other City departments – such as Fire, Health, Environment, and Public Works.   The cloud-based system, hosted by Accela, will not only enable seamless sharing of information between departmental and functional teams, but also between back-office and mobile workers.

“A technology hub like San Francisco requires an advanced e-permitting process that is innovative, flexible and built for the future,” said Vivian Day, Director of DBI.  “Working with the Mayor’s office, the Controller’s office, and the Human Rights Commission, we took great care to select a system and provider to meet the City’s high standards and diverse needs.  We look forward to working with the Accela – 21Tech partnership – locally based technology leaders – to make DBI’s comprehensive vision a reality.”

“The new system will provide us with a powerful tool to address an increasingly complex Planning Code, inform the public about our work, and implement the city’s land use and urban design standards,” said John Rahaim, Planning Department Director.  “Working closely with DBI and Accela – 21Tech, we are committed to a system that will provide transparency, accountability, and access; greatly increase efficiency; and facilitate much improved interagency collaboration.”


Accela Automation is deployed by hundreds of governments of all sizes and populations as a complete solution for automating critical tasks associated with permitting, licensing, code enforcement, community development and planning, inspections and investigations, infrastructure asset management, emergency response, and more.  The software is used by the Port of San Francisco, as well as numerous other Bay Area governments, including Contra Costa County, and the cities of Alameda, Concord, Palo Alto, Petaluma, Vacaville, and many others.

Accela Automation utilizes an open architecture and a centralized database, allowing information to be easily accessed across departments.   For CCSF, the software will track permit applications and fees, log code enforcement cases and complaints, and automatically route applications to appropriate personnel to ensure compliance with City zoning laws, as well as environmental, health, fire, and historic preservation codes.  The software’s mobile and GIS capabilities will allow office and field-based staff to access, update and share key data and maps in real-time, boosting accuracy and reducing trips to the office for coordination and paperwork.  Meanwhile, businesses and residents will be able to apply, pay for and track their permits and licenses online from their home, office or mobile devices.

“Accela has been headquartered in the Bay Area since our inception more than 30 years ago,” said Maury Blackman, CEO and President of Accela.  “After helping to bring the benefits of robust e-government processes to cities and states across the U.S. and overseas, we’ve always ‘left our heart’ in San Francisco.  We couldn’t be more thrilled to work with DBI and Planning.”

“21Tech was founded in San Francisco in 1996 with the goal of providing both the public and private sector with precise, well managed system integration solutions,” said Dilraj Kahai, Co-Founder of 21Tech.  “We have been working with the CCSF for over eight years with several successful, high visibility projects.  We are excited to be working with DBI and Planning to provide them with a richly deserved solution that increases the productivity of both City employees and citizens.”


Created by voter referendum in 1994, DBI oversees the effective, efficient, fair and safe enforcement of the CCSF’s Building, Housing, Plumbing, Electrical, and Mechanical Codes, along with Disability Access regulations.  The Planning Department engages citizens in an ongoing dialogue about San Francisco’s future and plays a central role in guiding the long-term development of the built and natural environment.  The Department evaluates regional growth management policy, monitors and updates the City’s general plan, ensures compliance of the planning and zoning codes, drafts land use policy, and develops sub-area and urban design plans.  Further details about DBI and Planning can be found at and


21Tech is a national management consulting, services and outsourcing company specializing in local government technology solutions.  Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities and proven expertise across departmental business functions, 21Tech develops IT strategy planning and delivery services for state and federal customers that meet financial and functional goals at all levels.  21Tech collaborates with global partners to deliver cost-effective software solutions that increase efficiency and drive customer value.   21Tech is headquartered in San Francisco, Calif., with offices in several bay area locations. Additional information is available at

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