Aitkin County, MN Expands Service Delivery
ONEGOV IMPROVES DELIVERY
Aitkin County Improves Citizen Service Delivery
In April 2016, the Aitkin County Planning and Zoning Department went live with OneGov making permit applications available online to offer citizens with property located in their jurisdiction the ability to complete and submit permit applications remotely after general office hours. With a large number of property owners living outside of the County, this was an important service delivery improvement and was the primary goal when electing to implement the software. Within the first two years, it is estimated that 80% of the permit applications they receive are completed online with little to no assistance by department staff. In addition to improving service delivery, Kristi Kunz, with the Aitkin County Planning & Zoning / Environmental Services Department, mentioned that they have realized some peripheral benefits of the software as well, such as, the increased accessibility to information in a paperless office, improved resource planning with ability to view applications that are in progress, and the efficiency of the online payment process.
PROBLEMS WITH PAPER
OneGov Streamlines Paper Intensive Process
Prior to implementing OneGov, the department’s permit application process was paper based. This resulted in time consuming back and forth communications between applicants and department staff to gather all of the required project details for processing, in addition to ensuring all requirements were met and correct on the application. Once the permit application was processed, additional staff time was required to re-enter the permit data into spreadsheets to create state and county reports.
Kristi described that this process has become more efficient with the use of OneGov. Now the applicant applies for the permit in a guided interface that automatically checks project requirements and allows applicants to select data, such as the parcel number, from a parcel lookup field that uses property information from the County’s tax system. Kristi mentioned both of these features have helped applications come in complete the first time. In addition, data re-entry previously required for permit reporting has been eliminated through the software’s built-in search and reporting tools.
Based on the initial success of implementing the online permit portal, the County is now considering utilizing other features available in the software that would allow them to optimize the paperless process further such as, field inspections and allowing applicants to print documentation required to be present at the project site.
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