SB What Are Some Ways to Improve the Permits System

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May 29, 2024
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Just a curious question, I basically work for the Department of Building and Safety as an intern and I noticed how for every step in right direction, there's always another flaw in our system. I want to ask what are ways we can do to improve our system so that it's not complicated to users and our employees.
 
Location
Los Angeles, California, United States
To improve the permits system is very laborious depending on the department. For I. I work in a department that has a lot of bureaucracy and it takes time to improve anything let alone changes to the permitting system. However one idea I am putting forward is finding a way to streamline the process for individuals where it can take as simple as a click to obtain a permit, given the requirements have been met of course.
 
I think the best goal for all permitting offices is to digitize their process. Of course that's easier said than done, because you have to digitize so much data that it could take years on end to fully achieve that. The problem is, that it's going to be a slow process no matter what changes are made. I have heard a lot of permitting offices are stuck in the past trying to catch up.

The states need to help with more funding I think. That or they really need to hire on more people to help with moving to digital.
 
Hiring more people to help and getting everything digitized at some point is what I think needs to be done to improve upon the permitting system. Here in Michigan I believe they are trying to move in that direction, but I imagine it's going to take quite a long time to get done.
 
I think we should begin by simplifying the permit application. We can do this by creating an online system that we can use to apply, track process and also see the requirements for application. We also need to publish guidelines and resources online so that service seekers can easily learn what they need to do for submitting the permit request. I also believe that the employees should be offered trainings so that that know how to work on these applications.
 
using the participatory approach, get one or two frequent applicants and have them try the processes to see how they work and ask for feedback. always try to include the people who will be using said systems/programs.
 
My department's approach was to create a new FTE position specifically for updating our permitting process. It's too much to put it on one person and there is no one-size-fits-all solution; it must be tailored to your jurisdiction/department. So far there are a lot of internal meetings and working with our permitting software provider to see our options.
 
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