SOURCE: Accela, Inc.

August 22, 2007 13:05 ET

Mayor Anderson, City Officials, Accela Executives Kick Off Implementation of One-Stop Shop

SALT LAKE CITY, UT--(Marketwire - August 22, 2007) - Today, Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, Salt Lake City Councilmember Carlton Christensen, Accela President and CEO Maury Blackman, and other city officials and Accela company representatives announced the beginning of implementation of Salt Lake City's One-Stop Shop plan review and permitting process. Salt Lake City has signed a $1.45 million contract for Accela Automation® from Accela, Inc. to support a much simplified process that eliminates the need for developers and business owners to deal with multiple city agencies, and that makes government services available online.

"Our new one-stop counter service will demonstrate our commitment to business made simple, and will prove to be a welcome change from the City's previous method of handling permit applications," said Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson. "The City's partnership with Accela will enable highly enhanced customer service and facilitate greater cooperation with Salt Lake City's residents, businesses, and developers."

Seven different city departments require plan reviews before issuing building permits: Building Services, Business Licensing, Planning and Zoning, Fire, Engineering, Public Utilities, and Transportation. Because these agencies are housed in different locations, customers have heretofore been required to visit several different locations to obtain permits. In addition, the City has utilized nine different databases and application procedures to issue permits. With the implementation of the One-Stop Shop, permit applications will be accepted at one office, with a suite of Accela software solutions helping to streamline procedures through the use of one centralized database of land use information that can be shared across an unlimited number of departments and with the public.

"If we create a predictable development review environment with timely, efficient processing and high quality standards, we will get more and better development projects throughout the City," said Community Development Director Louis Zunguze.

When fully implemented, the One-Stop Shop will ensure a collaborative approach among all of the City's development review entities and eliminate the current fragmented system of reviewing projects, which can create an adversarial relationship between the City, community stakeholders, and the development community, and therefore cause significant delays to project implementation. The One-Stop Shop system will operate as a partnership between the development community, neighborhood groups, and the City, with a goal to facilitate sustainable, walkable, and transit-oriented patterns of development that serve the needs and interests of all Salt Lake City residents. The One-Stop Shop will be based on the fundamental principles of predictability, accountability, efficiency, flexibility and transparency.

"Bringing multiple departments under a common database, providing citizen access to government services, and empowering inspectors with tools to access information in the field will significantly impact the City's ability to improve permit and licensing response time," said Orion Goff, Building Official in the City's Business Services and Licensing Division. "Expediting processes for building professionals will help us increase efficiency and measurably enhance the level of service we provide to our residents and businesses."

The Accela suite of Web-based products will similarly improve processes related to licensing, and enable mobile inspection capability, GIS, interactive voice recognition integration, and the ability of customers to track the progress of their permit applications online and by phone.

"The centralized land management database will allow cross-functional processes to share data and improve the efficiency of our business workflow," said Bill Haight, Salt Lake City's Acting Director of the Information Management Services Department. "Broad access to this information maximizes the value of our investment and increases the quality of service we provide to our citizens."

The Community Development Department's Building Services and Licensing Division issues more than 8,500 permits, renews more than 12,000 licenses, and processes more than 2,500 new licenses annually.

Salt Lake City selected these Accela products to enhance and expand the capability of Accela Automation:

Accela Licensing & Case Management™ automates licensing, registration, and renewal programs for government agencies, including general business licenses, and simple and complex registrations. The system allows easy creation of new case types and business rules to reflect the regulations of the agency, and helps provide faster and more accurate customer service.

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. Optimized for Centrino® Mobile Technology, Accela Wireless is compatible with PDAs, laptops, and Tablet PCs running on the Microsoft Pocket PC, Windows 2000, or Windows XP operating systems.

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. It is built on the ArcIMS™ platform by ESRI®.

Accela IVR™ provides 24-hour, voice-recognition access to permit and inspection services, enabling staff and citizens to request, check, and verify permit applications and inspections from a touch-tone phone, at any time.

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.

"Salt Lake City is one of a growing number of jurisdictions with unique needs that require an advanced and integrated solution to keep pace with the expectations of its citizens and business community," said Maury Blackman, Accela's president and CEO. "We applaud the City's recognition that government services should be readily available and easily accessible, and look forward to working side-by-side with them to see it through."

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Patrick Thronson
    Communications Director
    Phone: 801.535.7739
    Mobile: 801.201.7739
    Email: Email Contact