County leadership and staff have championed an ambitious enterprise-wide initiative to make it easier to do business with Arlington County Government — focused on permitting processes.
The initiative grew from the combined efforts of multiple departments focused on working smarter and better. We recognize the need to transform the way we do work, break down silos between departments, and look at County processes with a fresh perspective.
This is also a culture shift in how we do our work. Under One-Stop Arlington, we aim to:
- Streamline business processes.
- Enhance technology and communication tools.
- Increase transparency and accountability.
- Deliver excellent customer service.
Concrete steps taken to date in support of One-Stop Arlington include:
- E-Plan Review – Unveiled February 2016, this new system includes online submission, review and approval of building permits and land disturbance applications. By reducing paper applications, this begins to streamline the permitting process.
- Easier payments – The County began taking credit / debit cards at the permit counters – eliminating the need for customers to travel to the 2nd floor for payment.
- Access to records – Zoning and Inspection Services records are now digital.
Projects across the County are being established with these common goals and all staff, from senior management to line level employees, will be supporting them. This is a culture shift that transforms the way we do our work. By attaining these goals, the County as an employer will be able to attract top notch employees and maintain our competitive edge in the marketplace as part of Arlington’s economic development strategy.
We have already achieved a number of successes, and more projects are underway. All of this work involves cross-departmental teams, who are working together collaboratively to achieve results. For example:
- Easier plan filing: In February 2016, a cross-departmental team launched Electronic Plan (ePlan) Review so customers can submit plans and construction documents for all building permits electronically. (Feb. 2016)
- Easier info on-the-go: The new MyArlington mobile app makes it easy to look up information on nearby meetings, permits, and real estate transactions. It also features the Arlington Today calendar, County news, and transit alerts. (Jan. 2016)
- Consolidated event calendar: The new Arlington Today online calendar makes it easier to find a meeting, a fitness class, a performance event — with the ability to filter, browse and search. It’s also mobile-friendly and integrated into our MyArlington mobile app. (Dec. 2015)
- Easier permitting processes: This is a major project, involving multiple departments, with two main components: 1) re-engineering our business processes to streamline permitting and land management, and 2) implementing an online permitting system. (ongoing; new system expected in 2017) View the results of our survey asking the public for their feedback on the permitting process.
- Easier reporting of problems: Implemented an easy way for people to report problems and make requests for a wide variety of County services — the “Report a Problem” website and mobile app. (2014)
- Easier payments: Installed credit/debit card scanners to enable customers to pay for permit fees without having to go to the 2nd floor. CPHD (Community Planning, Housing & Development)’s ISD (Inspection Services Division) and Zoning; and Dept. of Environmental Services. (Feb. 2015)
- Better access to documents: Zoning and ISD archives are now digital. Customers can view and download past permits, site plans and a host of other documents at the Digital Resource Library on the 10th floor of Courthouse Plaza (2100 Clarendon Blvd). Customers should bring a flash drive (the library computer can’t print documents or access the Internet) and check in with the 10th floor kiosk before visiting the library. (Library opened Oct. 12, 2015)
- Real-time wait times: Our Building Arlington website includes real-time information on how many customers are in line for in-person service at our offices. (Sept. 2015)
- More streamlined testing: On Jan. 1, 2016, the Arlington County Fire Department (ACFD) rolled out a more streamlined fire systems testing program.
- Easier for staff: A multi-department team is looking at ways we can better support our increasingly-mobile workforce, equipping them to be more helpful to customers, with more flexible business hours. (ongoing)
- Easier to e-subscribe: We have a new enterprise tool that provides a one-stop way for people to subscribe to the many e-newsletters. (Aug. 2015)
- Consolidated services: Combined all Human Services offices, clinics and functions in one location, the Human Services Center (Summer 2015).