OSM Changes from Last Month
1. Three New Reports: Inspections by Inspector, Address, or Record (Live Oct 6)
2. Add “Conditions of Approval” for BuildingSupervisorAdminDaily (Live Oct 5)
The “Conditions of Approval” was added for users in the BuildingSupervisorAdminDaily usergroup.
3. PM License Holders (Live Oct 11)
Plumbing Business and Limited Maintenance Specialty Contractor (PM) license holders can now apply for both Residential and Commercial Plumbing permits online.
4. New Report: Withdrawn Void Records (Live Oct 12)
A new report called “Withdrawn Void Records” can be found in the “Activity” category of the Reports page. The report shows records that were set to the application status ‘Withdrawn’ or ‘Void’ on a day that falls within the report start date and end date. The report can be run for a single department or multiple departments. For each record in the report, the address, parcel, work description, status, status date, balance, and balance date are displayed if available. The status comment displays if a comment was made. All fees associated with the record are also displayed.
5. Revised Report: CETv3 Corrections (Live Oct 18)
CETv3 has been corrected so that it uses the school district name in the CET fee to determine which school district receives the fee. Also, permits and fees are included in the report based on the date the fee was paid rather than the date the permit was issued.
6. Expanded Phone Fields (Live Oct 19)
The Phone fields were expanded so that the whole field value can be seen when in the New UI.
7. Comment Group Dropdown Now Visible (Live Oct 26)
When adding Standard Comments, the Comment Group dropdown was missing for some user groups. This has been corrected for all user groups.
8. Expose Two New AdHoc Report Views (Live Oct 27)
Two new AdHoc Report views were exposed. They are called V_CONDITION_RECORD and V_PARCEL_CONDITION. Both views will display conditions.
Monday, November 13, 2017 you will notice a change in the way that File Name is displayed in the Documents list. Currently in the File Name column, Accela displays the Document Name instead of the File Name if the document was uploaded in the back office. After the update, both the File Name and the Document Name will appear in the Document list separated by a slash (/). This will make sure that documents are consistently named across all modules.
Both the Android and iOS Oregon Inspection Scheduling Apps were updated so that they uphold both Lock and Hold conditions. Previously, inspections could be scheduled on permits where there were either Lock or Hold conditions applied. The Android version was released to the Google Play Store on Nov 7 and the iOS version should be released to the Apple App Store in the next couple of weeks.
Accela Inspector App Reports
There are two new reports available for both the Android and iOS Accela Inspector app versions! These reports are available for all Full Service agencies, including OSM, D14, and Lane County.
Android Inspection Summary Report
Accela does not provide a built-in Summary report for the Android Inspector app so we in the ePermitting Program have developed one. This report is a replica of the Summary report that is built-in for the iOS version of the Inspector app. The content on this report is very basic and minimal. The only difference between the Android Inspection Summary and the iOS Summary reports is that the Android Inspection Summary report does not have the digital signature option. Unfortunately, we are not able to add this feature to any reports that we create for the Inspector app. This report is available for both Android and iOS versions.
Mobile Inspection Summary Report
This report was also developed by the ePermitting Program. It contains more information than the Android Inspection Summary and iOS Summary reports. For example, this report contains description of work, contractor information, along with the jurisdiction logo!
There are instructions on how to access each report and an example appended to this newsletter.
On a related note, we are in the process of fine-tuning all OSM inspection reports. More announcements will be made as we publish revised reports.
The ePermitting Help Desk will be closed on the following upcoming dates:
In the next Focus Training Chrissie Deibel will train on how to add documents to a record and parcels. This training will take place on Wednesday, November 29, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Up to 12 participants can attend this class so please send an email to Krista.M.Allman@oregon.gov and let her know how many from your office plan on attending the training by Monday, November 27. We will schedule additional training dates if this class fills up.
Future training topics to watch for: State Surcharge Reports, Phased & Deferred Records, Conditions of Approval (Building), Fee Estimates.
On October 30, 2017 Columbia County went live as an OSM Full Services agency. Columbia County, also provides services for the cities of Rainier, St. Helens, Scappoose, Vernonia, Clatskanie, and Columbia City. As an OSM Full Service agency, they now accept Structural and Onsite applications online, along with automatically issuing trade permits, and providing enhanced services to their customers. Columbia County was a unique implementation because they are our first agency using all four of our OSM provided modules (Building, Planning, Onsite, and Public Works).
As you may recall in October, ePermitting sent out a survey to see how many agencies would like to have the Record Search Page updated to allow the record number field to be the first field on the page moving the street number field to a new location and allowing users to type in the record number without the curser jumping to the street number field once the page continued to load.
We were very excited to provide an opportunity to let our agencies decide if the street number or record number field should go first on the page and wanted to say a big “Thank You” to those of you that placed a vote! Out of 34 votes it was an even split between those that wanted the change and those that didn’t and after some discussion as a team we have decided to leave the Record Search Page how it is to keep up with best practice searches and we wanted to provide some information to explain why Searching by Address in the Record List as Best Practice.
Because customers can apply for permits in Accela thru ACA online (Accela Customer Access) or over the counter in your office – it can be difficult sometimes to group various permits together that are all working on the same one project. The general contractor may come in and pull the Structural Permit over the counter but the trades contractors purchase their Electrical, Mechanical, and Plumbing permits through ACA online. In this very common scenario where the various contractors purchase their permits through different avenues and at different points in time but all are for the same one building project – searching by address always first will help agencies to quickly and visibly identify permits related to the same project that should ultimately be related as a group. Relating records has it’s definite advantages – expiration dates across all the related records will synch up to the most recent inspection plus 180 days regardless of what permit it occurred on within the related record group – and – Certificates of Occupancy require these related groups so that an agency can easily determine whether all permits are completed on a project as a whole prior to granting occupancy. Related record groups can span modules as well to include Public Works, Planning, and/or Onsite records that ultimately relate to the project for approvals or in sequence of completion, ie. perhaps Onsite and Public Works Driveway/Site Prep has to be done before work on the structural dwelling can begin, etc. For these reasons, searching by address first then ultimately becomes best practice in helping agencies to relate permits associated to the same project.
By default, inspection calendars block out the following dates for all agencies. If your agency deviates from this schedule, please email the help desk at ePermitsHelp.BCD@Oregon.gov to block out the appropriate dates.
Chrissie Deibel has been with ePermitting for almost 10 years. Her role supporting jurisdictions is training users to use the Ad Hoc Report writing tool, advanced money and finance, and report writing. Before joining the ePermitting team, she has had positions providing IT support to Building, Planning, Public Works, Fire, Code Enforcement, Business Licensing, Assessor, and Police/Sheriff departments for both City and County Governments in Washington and Florida. Over the years Chrissie has implemented 5 different permit and licensing systems that were used by multiple departments.
Chrissie has been with the ePermitting team almost since the beginning, she managed the initial project that enabled the ePermitting system to be created. She has written most of the standard reports available in ePermitting.
With 4 grown children, 6 grandchildren and a recently retired husband, Chrissie stays active and busy outside of work. She has 2 labradoodles that she loves to train and walk daily. She loves hiking, quilting and other art related projects.
Neither are we.
Unfortunately, it is not something that we can choose to turn on or off, it is part of the new user interface. We also can’t choose not to update to the newest version of Accela. Accela will not provide customer support on older versions of its product, so we have to stay apace with updates. What we can do is let Accela know what we think of the product.
ePermitting has weekly meetings with Accela’s customer support team. During those meetings, we push for bug fixes. For things like the new workflow design, which Accela doesn’t consider a bug, we put “Ideas” on the Accela community, a forum in which Accela customers propose and vote on product enhancements. We also let our account representatives know what we think is, and is not, working with the product. ePermitting cannot promise that Accela will change the workflow design, but we want you to know that we are pursuing all the available options to make the user experience better for all of us!
Please be aware that this content is relevant at the time it is published, but as time goes on may become out-of-date. We will do our best to keep the content alive and relevant.
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