100 Percent Permitting Accuracy
The City of Clovis realizes 100 percent accuracy with permitting process and other efficiencies in regulatory processes with Tyler’s EnerGov.
With increasingly complex regulatory processes and rapid changes in technology, the aging permitting system that Clovis, CA, built more than 10 years ago was quickly becoming obsolete. The city was in need of a sophisticated regulatory business process management system to replace the legacy system that merely tracked information within the database.
Upon a thorough analysis of the city’s business process requirement, it was determined an enterprise system that automates tasks and provides a central and cross-departmental workflow would benefit the city. Today the city is achieving these goals and more with the EnerGov 9 Enterprise Server platform.
Improving standardization, accuracy and workflow with GIS integration
The old permitting system was similar to working with a simple tracking database with blank fields and forms. It did not have proactive checks or controls to reject invalid information or require more information, nor did it have a workflow engine that managed and regulated the often complex business process required to properly process a variety of permitting workflows.
“You could issue a permit with any information on it, even if it did not have the correct address, parcel number, contractor information or location-based attributes,” said Mark Meyers, Clovis Building Official. “Permits could inadvertently be issued with non-existing addresses or without all the required information and approvals.”
With EnerGov, the city’s geographic information system (GIS) is now fully integrated with the permitting process, allowing standardization and validation of all geographic data that is entered into the system. Within a year of going live with the new system, the city has issued permits with 100 percent accuracy. All permits now use valid addresses from the GIS system in real time, replacing the need to manually enter data and greatly improving address quality related to the permitting process. Built-in GIS tools further increase the city’s permitting accuracy by allowing staff to analyze and create regulatory records in certain instances on a granular level beyond addresses and parcels. For instance, spatial regions can be related to engineering encroachment permits that apply to a specific area or location.
Additionally, the city has improved the workflow and recordkeeping of permits with the ability to record and query spatial case histories in GIS. Historical permits can be located quickly and city workers can see the process that was followed for the issuance of those permits as well as implement automated spatial conflict checks within the related spatial regions. The spatial enablement and centralization of data allows more accountability and collaboration for city employees across multiple departments.
Efficiencies with streamlined payment processing
The calculation and automation of complex fees that are often required at different stages in a permitting or licensing process are cornerstone to an efficient and well-managed regulatory system. For Clovis, automating the calculation of complex permit fees has ensured the proper fees are charged accurately and in a timely fashion.
The city has increased efficiencies within the financial management of the EnerGov system by tightly integrating with its internal financial system bi-directionally, thus reducing duplicate data entries that were previously required. Prior to EnerGov, the application was made for a permit or business license and the issuing department created an invoice which had to be physically taken by the applicant to the finance department. Once there, the fee and GL codes were manually entered into the city’s financial system. After the transaction was completed, a cash receipt would be printed for the applicant to physically return back to the issuing department. The staff would then key in the cash receipt number into the permit system and mark the fee as paid before issuing the permit.
Thanks to EnerGov’s open architecture, the payment process today is much more efficient with the seamless integration of the city’s enterprise regulatory (EnerGov) and current financial systems. Not only does this allow for a much more streamlined and efficient payment process, but it also saves time and eliminates errors.
One of the greatest benefits has been the elimination in keying in the GL account information as this is now handled automatically and it is completed as soon as the invoice is created...
Clovis Building Official
“One of the greatest benefits has been the elimination in keying in the GL account information as this is now handled automatically and it is completed as soon as the invoice is created,” said Meyers.
Clovis is also achieving efficiencies in other respects of regulatory processes. The city has integrated the California state license board within the permit application to be able to automatically check in real time that the contractor has a valid license.
The plan review and permit approval process have also been enhanced. For many California agencies, these processes can be very complex and very detailed, often involving hundreds of steps and actions that ensure the proper safety measures and regulatory requirements (CEQA, etc.) have been implemented before issuance. The city plans to capitalize on these improvements in the future by enabling the plan review process to become completely paperless with EnerGov’s eReviews technology.