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Accela Insights

Better government through civic engagement

Can tech and government get along?

This article was originally posted on Bloomberg Government. Bloomberg Government regularly publishes insights, opinions and best practices from our community of senior leaders and decision makers. This column is written by Tim Woodbury, Director of Government Relations for Accela.  “Move fast and break things.” Silicon Valley’s approach to innovation coined by Mark Zuckerberg is disrupting industries once thought untouchable. In less than a decade, Uber and Lyft have upended the taxi industry; Airbnb has turned people’s homes into an attractive alternative to hotels; and drones are circling our skies in record numbers. These are just a few of the many technology-driven innovations promising to improve our lives and making the hearts of investors flutter. Yet, these market disrupters are also on a collision course with government regulators. Debates on how best to regulate these innovations are raging from the largest cities to the smallest towns. Even, the bastion of disruption, San Francisco, the hom......
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Why Trump's Infrastructure Plan Needs Regulatory Technology Reform First

This article was originally posted on Forbes.com. Senator Dan Sullivan of Alaska, frustrated by the “red tape” of regulatory bottlenecks, has made federal permitting reform a focus of both his legislative agenda and a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed. The senator wants to limit new regulations, put a time limit on federal permit reviews, and create a “one-stop shop” for processing them as well. On these issues, Sullivan seems to have the ear of President Trump, as the president has moved swiftly with an executive order mandating that federal agencies repeal two regulations for every new one instituted. It’s not surprising that a hotel developer would be well acquainted with permitting delays and the impact regulatory reform could have on the success of his much-trumpeted infrastructure and jobs plans. In his victory speech last November, Trump said, “We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals. We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure.” While Sullivan and the Trump Administration ......
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Mark Jung Joins Accela as Chairman of the Board

Mark Jung Joins Accela as Chairman of the Board
I am pleased to welcome Mark Jung to the Accela Board of Directors as Chairman of the Board. Mark possesses an impressive track record that will serve him well in leading our Board of Directors, guiding Accela on best practices and helping to strategically align the company on its path for the future. Having held management and board positions at numerous public technology companies, he will bring nearly two decades of consumer and software expertise to Accela as we continue to develop core offerings for citizen engagement and interaction. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of DataXu, HackerRank, InMar and Pinnacle Foods. And even though he hails from the northeast (and is a hardcore Red Sox fan), he also sits on the Board of Governors of the San Francisco Symphony and is a former member of the Management Board of Stanford Business School. Most recently, he served......
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Announcing BLDS 1.0

Announcing BLDS 1.0
In May, I described a months-long process that was focused on the development of a new building permit data standard called the Building and Land Development Specification (BLDS, pronounced “builds”). When we discussed our work in helping to develop this standard, we made specific note of the importance of building permit data: “A shared standard for building permit data that can be adopted by multiple governments will help foster the development of new solutions that can be shared between jurisdictions. It will allow for analysis across jurisdictions, helping to highlight what works well and what doesn't. And, most importantly, it can help foster a better understanding of the permit process — which can have a direct impact on the neighborhoods we live in — by ensuring a common vocabulary for important events and activities.” Last week, we announced the release of BLDS version 1.0, which means that the standard has been developed to a point ......
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Honoring our Civic Heroes: Public Service Recognition Week

Honoring our Civic Heroes: Public Service Recognition Week

Today marks the first day of Public Service Recognition Week. Celebrated since 1985, the week honors the public servants across the nation whose hard work and dedication keeps our government agencies and communities thriving.

Accela supports more than 2,000 government agencies around the world, and we'd like to thank all of the agency employees who support the towns, cities, counties and states we serve—YOU are our civic heroes and we're honored to support you!

Want to know more about our Civic Heroes? Check out the Customers page for some great stories from the agencies we support. This week, we'll be tweeting about some of our amazing government agency heroes using the hashtag #PSRW, and encourage you to share your stories here and on Twitter of how public servants are working to connect citizens and governments.

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