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The City of New Orleans

Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu

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Mayor Landrieu reforms City Hall customer service and permitting process

July 02, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - Mayor Mitch Landrieu today announced new updates on his administration’s continued focus on improving City services and customer service.  By the end of September, citizens will see significant changes to key services including the launch of the new NOLA 311 system and the One Stop Shop for permits and licenses. As part of that effort, the City today announced its plans to co-locate the offices for City departments and agencies responsible for issuing licenses and permits. The new “One-Stop Shop” office will open in City Hall later this year. Additional initiatives will improve coordination for local events, provide easier access to information and application materials, and ensure a better overall customer service experience for citizens and businesses applying for permits and licenses.

“Our goal has always been to streamline city services for citizens and businesses to make their experience better, faster, and easier.” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu “We have engaged residents, business owners, contractors, vendors and event organizers to understand where we need to improve most. Today, we are pleased to announce progress on a number of significant reforms to improve the customer experience in City Hall.”

In April, the Mayor’s Innovation Delivery Team commissioned a comprehensive customer service survey of over 600 citizens who had applied for licenses or permits issued by the City. Four out of 10 respondents ranked the City’s performance low, with dissatisfaction highest among those seeking permits for special events. Above all, respondents voiced frustration about not getting clear answers about the process and about unanswered phone calls. In addition, the Innovation Delivery Team conducted an extensive scan of best practices nationally in the public and private sectors and held focus groups with permit seekers and City staff. Together, these findings served as the basis for the development of a focused plan that will create significant improvements for those seeking permits and licenses of all types.

“We are excited to be able to respond to the requests and concerns from residents. By providing permit and license applicants online access to information, we hope to minimize the time they are required to spend visiting multiple offices in City Hall,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Michelle L. Thomas.

In coordination with Deputy Mayor Thomas and department directors, the Mayor’s Innovation Delivery Team will support initiatives to make customer experiences better, easier and faster. Highlights include:

Better

  • Launch new permitting and licensing management system (end of third quarter 2012).
  • Provide ongoing customer service training to all front line permit and licensing staff (end of 2012).
  • Direct all non-emergency service and information requests through NOLA 311 (end of 2012).
  • Launch online special event center with guides for permitting and licensing, event calendars and local opportunities (2013).
  • Regularly survey customers on their permitting and licensing interactions (end of 2013).

Easier

  • Launch online portal to track application status (end of third quarter 2012).
  • Accept credit cards as a method of payment for permits and licenses, including for taxi drivers, tour guides, and contractors (end of third quarter 2012).
  • Provide online access to the City’s zoning map (end of 2012).
  • Provide comprehensive permit and licensing guides for applicants (2013).

Faster

  • Open One-Stop Shop in City Hall for all permits and licenses (end of 2012).
  • Provide capability to start applications and process payments online (end of 2012).
  • Reduce the number of required permit applications for events from 15 to 3 (end of 2013).

Improvements will be continuously unveiled throughout this year and into 2013.

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The City of New Orleans Innovation Delivery Team is designed to help Mayor Landrieu develop and deliver powerful solutions to major urban challenges. Situated in the Mayor's Office, the team brings rigorous focus and best-in-class practice to identifying powerful solutions, developing implementation plans and then managing for results. New Orleans is one of five cities to receive an Innovation Delivery Team grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies. Part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Project, Innovation Delivery Team grants were also awarded to Atlanta, Chicago, Louisville and Memphis.

 
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Last updated: 7/2/2012 11:45:37 AM

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