NEW ORLEANS, LA – Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced major milestones in the City of New Orleans’ efforts to create a One Stop Shop to improve and streamline the customer experience related to securing permits and licenses. All departments expected to be co-located in the physical space, including City Planning Commission, Historic Districts Landmarks Commission, Safety & Permits, and Vieux Carre Commission will complete moving in by the end of the week. Additionally, the City today launched a new website for permitting functions, as well as the abilities to apply and pay online for building and demolition permits. A formal ribbon cutting ceremony will be held in March. Today’s milestone is only part of the Administration’s plan to create more effective and customer-friendly City government, as additional enhancements will be rolled out in the coming months, including expanded ability for customers to track requests.
“When we took office, we said that we wanted to modernize and improve City government,” said Mayor Landrieu. “The One Stop Shop is evidence of our commitment to streamline the permitting process. We are finding ways to be as efficient and effective as possible by focusing on the customer. Those who do business with the City of New Orleans will soon find that our new systems and the co-location will provide them a welcoming, comfortable and functional experience. ”
The One Stop Shop, located at on the seventh floor of City Hall (Room 7W03), brings together the Safety & Permits, City Planning Commission, Historic District Landmarks Commission, and the Vieux Carré Commission. This physical site enhances the customer experience by providing an easier, single point of entry for applicants and by improving the review process through cross-departmental collaboration. Permitting and licensing agencies that remain offsite will be able to receive, review, and process applications using a recently introduced enterprise system, and with the benefit of new, updated digital zoning information. The application for other permits and licenses, including occupational licenses and mayoralty permits from the Bureau of Revenue, will also start in the One Stop Shop.
In addition to the VCC’s new daily presence at the One Stop Shop, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, from 9am to 11am, a VCC staff member will host office hours at the Royal Street location for drop-ins and general questions. While the Royal Street location will cease accepting applications they will be able to provide information about necessary documents required for certain permits. The new operations structure of VCC will allow for more inspections and for VCC staff to be more effective.
First Deputy Mayor and Chief Administrative Officer Andy Kopplin said, “With collaboration and agency alignment we will be able to provide better service to our customers and offer a comprehensive system that will be model for other cities.”
In addition to co-location and software improvements, the City also introduced initiatives to minimize wait times and visits to City Hall, while maximizing access to information for customers:
The One Stop Shop intake features a queuing management system that tracks customer flow from arrival to exit in order to reduce wait times and improve communication with customers in the intake area.
One Stop Online (http://www.nola.gov/onestop), features centralized, detailed, information for every permit and license type including fees, required steps to obtain the permit, the issuing agency and renewal information. You can also find the new One Stop App, currently in beta with building permits, which allows applicants to submit applications, download related documents, and query the status of their application electronically. The collaboration between the City’s Information, Technology and Innovation (ITI) Office and the software vendor (The Davenport Group) is a first-of-its-kind and will invite continuous improvements in response to public feedback while in the beta testing phase.
By the end of summer 2013, customers can also expect the following upgrades:
Front line permit and licensing intake staff who regularly participate in customer service and cross-departmental training to ensure service level standards;
The ability to start, track and pay fees for business, and special event related permit and license applications remotely through nola.gov/onestop;
Acceptance of major credit cards (Visa [online only], Master Card, Discover) as payment methods for permits and licenses;
Online access to accurate zoning and conditional use maps that will foster economic development, by providing accurate information to the public regarding allowed uses on properties including approved conditional uses;
Redesigned permit and license applications that provide clear and concise information regarding submission requirements, formatted to reflect key process changes;
Analysis of regularly conducted customer surveys used to guide improvements to the permitting and licensing processes; and
Consolidation of permit and license types to simplify the applicant experience along with comprehensive permit and licensing guides for applicants (throughout 2013).
The development of the City’s One Stop Shop was identified as a priority in 2010 by the Customer Service Task Force on Mayor Landrieu’s Transition Team and efforts were continued through facilitated focus groups in 2011. In 2012, the Mayor’s Innovation Delivery Team provided additional capacity by initiating a comprehensive customer satisfaction survey and by advancing key initiatives related to reducing wait and processing times for City services. The 2012 survey polled over 600 citizens about their experience as permit and license applicants and was used to refine and enhance One Stop goals. In last 18 months, internal stakeholders from the nearly 17 departments and agencies involved in permitting and licensing have partnered with external groups from key industries to respond to the history of citizen requests for permitting process improvements.
The One Stop Shop will be open during regular business hours for City Hall, Monday – Friday from 8-5pm. Please visit http://www.nola.gov/onestop or call (504) 658 -7100 for more information.
In addition to the One Stop Shop, Mayor Landrieu has worked to significantly improve customer service at City Hall including moving back to a 5-day work week, creating a staffed welcome and information desk in the City Hall main lobby, revamping and redesigning the City’s website- nola.gov, and launching NOLA 311 for constituents to report and track most quality of life complaints and service requests.
About the Mayor’s Innovation Delivery Team
Mayor Landrieu’s Innovation Delivery Team develops and delivers 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.