The City of Seattle is comprised of 29 departments offering more than 55 lines of business to serve the public. Several of these departments administer permitting processes and are responsible for regulatory enforcement. Often these departments administer their permitting and regulatory responsibilities independently of each other – resulting in a situation where an individual must submit multiple applications to the city in order to get approval for a single event. (For example, constructing a new building may require completing separate permitting and regulatory applications across five or more departments.)
As one of the nation’s fastest growing large cities, Seattle recognizes the opportunity to provide better service to the public and operate more efficiently by integrating its permitting processes across departments. This includes updating business processes to increase cross-department collaboration and reduce duplication, reducing non-value added steps involved in existing processes, and implementing common technologies. Already two large city departments are in the process of standardizing on a common platform for managing permitting processes, and several more are waiting to begin implementation projects on the same platform. This effort is being referred to as “Permit System Integration” (PSI), however the project is broader than permitting and involves more than information systems.
In early 2017 a consulting company will begin gathering information to help the City build a strategic business plan for this effort. The consultants will assess the City’s current capabilities and landscape in the areas of licensing, permitting, fees, inspection, certification, compliance, and other regulatory areas. They will use this information to help the city create an enterprise licensing and permitting business strategy and a vision for the future.
As part of this effort we’re gathering information from the public. If you would like to participate, please email Grette Benitez (Grette.Benitez@seattle.gov) or call at 206-684-3787 no later than January 10, 2017 to be scheduled for a session. We would be happy to hear your feedback as well as your thoughts and ideas about how we can excel in the future!