Challenge

Digital transformation for the City's building, land development and inspection services

City of Erie
August 13, 2021

At-a-Glance

Category:

Mobile App, Open Gov, Payments / Lending, Permit Streamlining, and Process Improvement

Procurement Method:

Challenge based procurement

Application Period:

July 16, 2021 12:00 AM

 - 

August 13, 2021 11:59 PM

Q&A Period:

July 19 through August 3, 2021

Challenge

The City of Erie, Department of Planning and Neighborhood Resources is seeking a comprehensive and user-friendly solution to improve the usability, transparency and effectiveness for the program areas of: property and rental inspection, enforcement, building inspections, permits, licensing services, zoning requests, and land development plan review for our office of planning and neighborhood resources.

Background

Assessment of Current Systems used by the Department of Planning and Neighborhood Resources

The systems used to manage the workload within the Department of Planning and Neighborhood Resources are varied and not integrated.  The systems do not allow for ease of access, reporting, archiving, or preparation of reports or invoices.  All of these functions are separate functions using different software systems that are not integrated, causing delay and lack of efficiencies with work flow. Systems are not available to employees while working out in the field so status updates and information has to be researched at a desktop, in the office.  There is no ability to provide timely reports to the administration or to the public at large.  

The following outlines all of the current systems and software that are being used.

Permitting Program Area

Current Systems

1) CommunityPLUS is the entry system for permitting information that performs the following tasks:

  • Tracks payment information
  • Links the contractor to the permit
  • Generates data to fill mailmerge on permit
  • Stores permit data from 2000 to current

2) Laserfiche is used to store all permit application in a pdf file for our archives

3) Cognos is a a system used to generate reports on data in CommunityPLUS

Licensing Program Area

Current System

1) CommunityPLUS Business Licensing Module is used to complete the following:

  • Create business number
  • Enter in new license holders
  • Tracks payment and license history
  • Generates invoices

2) CommunityPLUS Permitting-Contractor Module is used to complete the following:

  • Tracks where license holders are working
  • Stores contact info
  • Stores insurance information for contractors
  • Stops permits from being issued without updated insurance

3) Laserfiche is used to scan all documents as Community

  • Stores scanned documents, such as completed packets, renewal forms

Rental Registration Program Area

Current System

1) Civic Pulse is used to complete the following:

  • Register rental properties for inspection program
  • Generates Invoices for property owners
  • Tracks payments and schedules inspection

Registrations (rooming house, child care facilities) Program Area:

Current System

Currently using Excel, Access, Laserfiche, and paper to record and save all inspection, payment, and violation information for inspection of rooming houses and child care facilities

Enforcement Program Area

Current Systems

  • Complaint based with violations noted through a disparate systems including phone calls, emails, calls to the Citizen Response Center, and an online platform called City Grows.  system is very unwieldy and difficult to track

1) CommunityPLUS - Code Enforcement - Complaint and Violations Module is used for the following:

  • The entry system for violation information
  • Tracks status through event and inspection log that includes notes
  • Generates data to fill mailmerge on violation
  • Stores complaint and violation data from 2000 to current

2) Internal Hard drive - Long trail of folders leading to property and case specific files used for saving and storing the following:

  • Photos from inspections which cannot be attached to CommunityPLUS folder
  • Violation documents/notices (Order to Correct Code Violations)
  • Citation/tickets
  • Other case documents
  • Word document with property/inspector notes and case information

Planning and Zoning

Current System

1) Microsoft Word to prepare agendas and reports for planning commission, zoning hearing board

2) Mainly hard copy and pdf formats are used for applications

3) Properties subject to zoning requests are posted with signage and public hearing notices are published in newspaper and on the City’s website

4) ArcGIS is used only for neighborhood planning projects

Requirements & Outcomes

Desired functionality of new system(s)

Permitting Program Area

Desired functionality of new system is to have an inclusive system that will allow permits to be entered and saved.  Payments can be made online and the permit review and approval process can be viewed and shared by multiple departments and by the contractors or property owners.  Inspection tracking would also be include and the system would allow for attachments of  plans or other important documents.  System should also allow for permits applications to be received online without contractors having to submit in person or via email.

Licensing Program Area

Desired functionality of new system will allow for tracking of one company with multiple licensed employees.  Searchable for active license holders without having to use another system.  Update multiple records at one time  (Ex: IBEW pays for their members, be able to select all IBEW members and mark them all as paid instead of having to go into 250 different accounts)

System should have ability to generate invoices and status reports with ease.  Track payment information and verify active licenses while inspectors are out in the field via a mobile application.  Red flag licenses that have expired or are suspended.  Allow attachments of documents within the system and to a license.  Be searchable for active Master license holders and have an open portal that allows licensee access to track review and approval process and to alert them when licenses are expired.

Registrations (rooming house, child care facilities) Program Area:

Desired functionality is that within the same system as permitting and licensing, specialized inspections are a function.  Need the ability to generate inspection reports, invoices, notices of violation and approval certificates.  System should be an open portal or enterprise system  where locations can apply online, make payments and receive status updates.  Digital signatures and the like should also be included as well as the ability to attach documents and photos.

Rental Registration Program Area

Desired functionality is to have the rental system integrated into the overall system for the department rather than a separate software.  Ability to make online payments and schedule/reschedule inspections online.  Need the ability to easily generate inspection and payment/arrears reports.

Enforcement Program Area

Desired functionality is to have a single system by which complaints or violations are noted  through the same intake process and the entirety of the violation can be tracked from the point of intake to final resolution.  System must able to handle a variety of complaints, schedule officers, and document the process from complaint, through notification, citation, court proceedings and the like.  Ability to generate project schedules, notify officer of deadlines and have mobile capabilities so officers can access all property information on site including ownership, previous violations, zoning status etc.

Planning and Zoning

Desired functionality is for an open platform and GIS based solution that will allow for online application and payments for all zoning and land use related permits.  Tracks progress of application and allows applicant to access and see the status of their project.  Will permit and provide for public face so that the community can easily access land use proposals and decisions.  System should be compatible with permitting and land development review process so that the process is seamless.  Preference given to vendors who utilize ESRI based products and those that include the ESRI Local Government Information Model and similar solutions

Payments

Desired functionality is for the system to have the ability to take online and walk-in payments as well as compatibility with the Treasurer's FinancePLUS system.

Please submit questions via email to kwyrosdick@erie.pa.us no later than August 3rd at 1:00 PM EST