CTAC 2016 was CSDC’s most successful user conference to date. With over 200 attendees from 9 different counties, this year’s CTAC gathered a wide range of customers for CSDC to feature our newest technologies. In the beautiful Niagara Falls, we presented advancements in the AMANDA platform with the showcase of version 7.1, and the exciting releases of AMANDA FOIA/ATIP 2016 and AMANDA JEMS.
CTAC is the once a year opportunity for CSDC to recognize our customers through the Innovation Award, to distinguish the unique and incredible ways CSDC customers are using AMANDA in their municipalities. Every year, CSDC receives outstanding applications, and this year was no exception with our highest number of applications yet. After strenuous deliberation, CSDC presented three customers with the Innovation Award, two ties for the Business Award, and one for the Technical Award.
The Business Innovation Award for 2016 was awarded to the City of Austin, Texas and the City of Markham, Ontario. The Technical Innovation Award for 2016 was award to the City of Vaughan, Ontario.
The integration of the City of Austin’s Contractor Portal allows for contractors to log into the portal to self-assign and pay for the permits. This direct communication between contractors and the processing of permits occurs without involving city staff, thus reducing the number of trade contractors visiting and faxing the Permit Service Center. During the application submission process, the required documentation can be uploaded as attachments. After a permit is active, additional documents required during the building process can be added for the inspector review. Even though foot traffic to the Service Center is reduced, customer service and support is still readily available through help guides, flyers, and online chat through the portal.
Austin’s online portal supports 40 different types of permit applications, online payments including escrow, and sub-contractor management. Overall, the city was able to reduce 70% in fax based submissions, and saw a 55% increase in online submissions.
City of Markham’s Paperless Zoning, 2016 Business Innovation Award
Through the City of Markham’s Public Portal, online submissions of request and/or property compliance reports automatically generates the corresponding AMANDA Zoning Search or Property Compliance folders. AMANDA will then automatically assign the zoning examiner responsible for that area using the folder property information and generate the required merge document in the folder. Zoning examiners, using their task list, reviews and approves the response document, affixes a digital signature and emails the response to the applicant using AMANDA.
Presently the City receives up to 4,000 zoning search request per year, and now saves approximately 3-4 sheets of paper per request.
City of Vaughan, 2016 Business Innovation Award
The City of Vaughan recently went through a large AMANDA upgrade. The Committee of Adjustment application process is now automated using AMANDA. Applications can now be reviewed and responded to instantly by several departments online. The need to circulate the paper form application has been eliminated. Automated distribution and prioritization of Building Standards tasks based on availability, assigned work load, and complexity of permit application. DC Fees are now managed and maintained within the AMANDA system. The capability to auto-recalculate fees, when they change.