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CITY UNVEILS ELECTRONIC PERMIT REVIEW PROCESS

(Tues., July 17, 2012) Mayor Peter Carlisle today announced that the City has begun implementation of "ePlans," a program to electronically review building permit plans, which will save taxpayers time and money, dramatically reduce paper consumption, and provide a more transparent and efficient permitting process.

            "The City continues to use technology to improve the services we provide to the public," said Mayor Carlisle. "The ePlans system will eliminate the need to visit the permit counter, which will save applicants time, parking, and gasoline. It will also eliminate the need to provide multiple sets of plans and make this process much more environmentally sustainable."

            The Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) launched the ePlans program as part of its on-going efforts to improve the permit and plan review process. The program is expected to transform a century-old process of hard copy plan review with a set of computer-based tools and services using web-based computer systems for electronic file submission and plan review mark-up process. Comments and mark-ups of plans will be accessible and stored online to allow applicants and contractors to interact with the City electronically. 

            "We are capitalizing on DPP's on-line permitting capabilities and ePlans is the next big step in making the permitting process more efficient and transparent," said DPP Director David Tanoue. "Plus, it's much greener and eliminates the need for the department to manage and store thousands of sets of plans."

            The City completed the program design and training of staff in mid-June and is in its final stages of testing the system by processing permit applications and plans with a handful of engineering, planning, and architectural firms. Companies participating in the testing include Structural Hawaii Inc., Arthur Mori & Associates Inc., Group 70 International, and Walter P. Thompson Inc. Responses to the ePlans program from these companies have been positive throughout the testing phase. The ePlans system is being used for residential and commercial building permits and for subdivision permits. Other permit types will be added later this year. 

            The ePlans software is known as ProjectDox, from Avolve Software Corporation of Scottsdale, Arizona, a leader in the development of paperless, electronic filing software products.  The product was integrated with the City's permit tracking software known as POSSE, provided by Computronix, the provider of the City's permit management system. The integration of these products results in full tracking of permit applications and plan reviews, which allow customers to be kept informed of their permit application status.

            "Deploying an electronic plan submission and review system is a testament to intelligent city planning and represents a critical step forward for the City and County of Honolulu in its pursuit of sustainable practices, greater efficiency and its commitment to excellent service delivery," said Ron Loback, President and CEO at Avolve Software. "This technology eliminates the physical barriers that slow plan review and approval for local, Mainland U.S. and global customers, streamlining economic growth and development. We're excited to be a part of Honolulu's digital transformation and the ongoing, positive impact that it brings."

            More information, including a demonstration guide, can by found on the department's website: www.honoluludpp.org. Companies interested in submitting permit plans electronically can contact DPP at info@honoluludpp.org to be added as a participant. Starting in September, the ePlans program will be opened to all applicants and the public. Customers can still choose to use the existing paper system, but DPP will transition to electronic filing in the near future.

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Media contact: Curtis Lum, DPP Public Information Officer, 768-8284.