Permitted to Succeed? Part Three

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My last two blog posts (here and here) have provided some ideas about some key aspects of the Mayor’s initiative to reform the permitting process. If we can get the physical layout right, the organizational structure right, and the culture right, the last step is to build in accountability measures.

Right now, its noteworthy that the City’s performance measurement program is silent on the topic of permitting times. It measures the number of permits issued and complaints responded to, but not how long it takes.

(And while we are at it – can we get BAR performance reports to show historical results that are comparable to current year results. Right now, we get year-to-date results for the current year and full year results for previous years, making it difficult to gauge performance. )

The city installed new permitting tracking software several years ago – from what’s available to view on-line, it has the potential to be a useful tool.

If it’s capable, we should be measuring how long it takes to grant permits and where bottlenecks are occurring. ISD could also benefit from a ‘mystery shopper’ program to determine if customer service standards are being met.

Getting a ‘one stop permitting’ system in place that really works is a great idea by Mayor Menino. For all our sakes, let’s get it right.

Crossposted at Boston Daily.