In an effort to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of states in the U.S. issued stay-at-home orders to the community. However, local government offices continued to offer several services, such as the review and approval of permits. In fact, in certain states, government offices witnessed an increase in the number of permit requests during this time.
Given that the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging across the country, government bodies that have still not made the switch to e-permitting portals should consider doing so, at the earliest, so as to be able to provide continuous service, transparency, and quick resolutions. Read on to know more about online permit portals.
What is an Online Permit Portal?
An online permit portal essentially allows citizens to submit their permit applications online. The government office can review submitted permit applications and either approve them or reject them. The key difference between an online permit portal and a traditional permit process is that officials do not have to come in contact with citizens to process their applications. During the “new normal,” this can significantly help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents can submit different types of permits, like tree removal permits, road opening permits, etc., through the online permit portal.
Top 5 Features of Online Permit Portals
Some of the key features of online permit portals are as follows:
Automates the permitting process
An e-permitting portal can help automate the process significantly, given that the portal accepts online permit applications, assigns tasks to the relevant employees in the office, tracks the permit application through various stages, and sends notifications to residents.
Whether they’re applying for a road opening permit, a tree removal permit, or any other type of permit, residents can use e-permitting portals to submit their online permit application, upload relevant supporting documents, make the required payments, track the status of their applications, and schedule inspections.
In-built reporting capability:
E-permitting portals help authorities access and view metrics and reports that help measure, analyze, and track the performance of the government agency, with regard to things like the total number of permits issued, productivity of employees, number of inspections scheduled, etc. Thus, if there are any delays in the process, authorities can analyze the reason for the lag and ensure the application is processed faster.
Ignatiuz’s online permit portal ensures public compliance with various city regulations and codes by managing violations and complaints, and quickly finding efficient resolutions to different issues.
Online permit portals are also GIS-integrated, which means they offer zoning details and rich visualizations in terms of route and map specifications.
Problems with Traditional Permit Portal During the Pandemic
Before the pandemic, busy government offices that were chock-full of residents looking to submit their permit applications, or perhaps find out the status of their permit applications, was a common sight.
However, since the lockdown earlier in 2020, a lot has changed for government agencies. The functions of most government agencies were deemed “essential activities” but they had to close their in-person permit counters to adhere to social distancing norms. Many local government agencies that did not previously use an e-permitting portal rushed to invest in one, so they could continue offering their services to residents.
During the pandemic, it is the need of the hour for government agencies to manage and process permit applications using an e-permitting portal. Continuing to use the traditional permitting process is not a viable option anymore because it not only puts the health of the staff at risk but it also increases the risk for residents who may have to visit the government office to submit their applications.
The Importance of Online Permit Portals During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a major shift in the way many organizations and government bodies conduct their business. For government agencies dealing with permits, moving to an online permit portal was the only logical step. Here’s how an online permit portal can help government agencies during the COVID-19 pandemic:
Manages permit applications without physical contact:
When you adopt an e-permitting process, residents will not have to queue up at the office to submit their applications. Thus, online permit applications allow government agencies to process applications without any physical contact.
Improves the satisfaction of residents:
When residents are able to submit a tree removal permit or road opening permit digitally and have their permit processed in a short span of time, it can lead to increased satisfaction.
Helps residents employees stay safe:
By limiting physical contact and helping staff in government office maintain social distancing, online permit portals helps employees and residents stay safe.
Helps process permit applications quickly:
Unlike in the case of traditional (where paper-based permits may lay on the desks of different employees for days at a time), online permit applications are quickly passed from one stage to the other, thus, reducing the total processing time.
Why Choose Ignatiuz to Set Up an Online Permit Portal?
Government agencies play an important role in fostering community development. The pandemic, however, makes it challenging for government agencies to fulfill their responsibilities. Investing in Igantiuz’s online permit portal can help solve the problem since most of the permitting process is automated, and permits can be processed in a relatively shorter amount of time. Ignatiuz’s online permit portal allows residents and vendors to submit their online permit applications from anywhere, with the click of a few buttons, thus leading to improved satisfaction for all parties involved. If you would like to know more about how a permit portal can benefit you, reach out to our expert consults at Ignatiuz.
In today’s digital age, the shift from traditional permitting to online permitting was bound to happen, but the pandemic has allowed for this change to happen faster. If your municipality or government agency would like to set up an online permit portal, reach out to us today.