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San Bernardino County Shows How Online Permitting can Spur Economic Growth

The National Association of Counties has recognized San Bernardino with its Achievement Award after the launch of its high-speed digital permitting system 

California’s San Bernardino County’s new permitting system has received top honors from the National Association of Counties (NACo) after earning the organization’s 2018 Achievement Award, an accolade granted to county programs that demonstrate “innovative” service. 

NACo announced the awards in a blog post on May 11, where it commended the 615 winning programs submitted from 116 counties and state associations across the U.S. The award validates San Bernardino and Accela’s work to build a modern permitting system that can answer the county's growing demand in permitting. In its award submission, San Bernardino reported that it designed the new system, called EZ Online Permitting (EZOP), to speed up the approval process for economic growth and community improvement projects that had been hampered with long delays caused by its old permitting system.   

“With county communities often competing across the state for development projects, it has become increasingly vital to provide a modern and simple solution that will facilitate a permitting process which attracts builders and businesses to San Bernardino County,” San Bernardino noted. “[EZOP] allows for a seamless submission of applications, plans, and documents while also providing the ability to check statuses, view project updates, and make online payments from the comforts of home; saving time and money.”  

Under the direction of San Bernardino Chief Information Officer Jennifer Hilber, the county’s Information Services Department, County Administration Office and Accela spent more than two years developing EZOP and officially launched the one-stop-shop enterprise land development and building permitting site in August 2017. 

Robert Lovingood, the County Board of Supervisors Chairman, wrote in a congratulatory letter to Hilber on May 21, that the NACo award stood out as a milestone for the county in its mission to provide modern and meaningful services to residents.  

“This award speaks to the commitment of your department to go above and beyond in creating a more effective and efficient delivery of service within our county,” Lovingood said. “It is this level of service that allows the County of San Bernardino to consistently be a national frontrunner as a model organization for innovation excellence.”  

Brian Weber, Accela’s senior director of delivery, also praised Hibler and her team for the collaborative development of EZOP, and for the NACo recognition.  

“This is indeed a reflection of all the hard work that San Bernardino County and the Accela Delivery Project team invested over the two and a half years of that project,” Weber said. “Jennifer Hibler was a great partner and advocate of our system. She challenged her team to own their success and it translated into an unbreakable partnership and an on-time go live! Congrats to San Bernardino County and the entire Accela project team on the great recognition!” 

NACo will officially recognize San Bernardino on July 15 at its 2018 Annual Conference and Exposition in Nashville, Tennessee. The Achievement Award for EZOP is one of five that the county won in the award category of Information Technology, and one of 42 awards the county won in all award categories. The EZOP permitting system is part of Accela’s Land Management Solution that helps agencies speed up permitting through greater accessibility and application management. 

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