A new optional workflow email notification is now available for enhanced communication with your customers! For most Building workflows, under the Application Intake task, there is a new workflow status called Intake Requirements Needed. If this status is selected, an email will automatically be sent to the Applicant and any additional email recipients that you enter (an example of the email is shown below). The intent of this new status is to communicate more specifically to the applicant that additional intake requirements are needed before the application can be accepted and/or plan review can begin, as apart from using the Additional Info Needed status. The bonus part of this email is that it automatically includes the current balance on the record. Communicating additional requirements to the applicant, including paying outstanding plan review and/or other intake fees, is now made much easier with this simple status update. You can use this status at any time; no additional configuration is needed from our team.
Auto-issue of specific Building Module record types when the record is in a status of ‘Ready to Issue’ and customer pays fees online through ACA
When a building record is in a status of ‘Ready to Issue’ and the ACA customer pays all fees, the record will auto-issue and the customer will receive an email of the permit. Minimum requirements for this enhancement include that all invoiced fees are paid in full on the record (this means that no fees can remain in a status of ‘New’) and there is an owner indicated on the record. This is an optional feature and by default is ‘off’ for all agencies, unless requested. To request this feature be turned ‘on’, first complete the required submittal found here: http://orepermittinghelp.kayako.com/Knowledgebase/Article/View/enable-auto-issuance-when-fees-paid-online and attach this submittal to a helpdesk ticket – submit to epermitshelp.BCD@dcbs.oregon.gov with a subject of Enable auto-issuance when fees paid online. The agency will select which of the available record types they would like to use this feature for through the submittal form.
Permitting for Solar/PV Installs
In reviewing a report that we recently issued, Detailed Issued Permits, we noticed that many people are struggling with how to issue Solar/PV installations.
To help out, we have created a new training document that we hope will provide the necessary guidance and clarification on how to permit for these installations:
Auto-assign of Inspections
Auto-assignment of inspections by discipline can help organize your jurisdiction’s daily inspection load. We recommend that each discipline is assigned to only one single inspector as the ‘lead’ or primary for that discipline (inspectors can, however, be assigned more than one discipline).This is because if you have 2 or more inspectors assigned to a discipline, Accela will simply “share” out the inspections without paying attention to whether or not inspections are on the same permit or at the same address; so, you could end up with one permit having two inspectors scheduled for inspections on the same day- not very efficient!
Example, if Jim and Tom are both certified for Residential Electrical – we would recommend that you only add the Electrical (Residential) discipline as “primary” to either Jim OR Tom’s user profile. If both Jim and Tom’s users were set up with the Electrical (Residential) discipline, the system would simply alternate between them to assign incoming residential electrical inspections, with no reference to address or project. If Jim is set up as primary, then every morning he can assess the inspections and logically reassign some of them to Tom.
User Disciplines as provided in the Model:
Auto-assignment helps save a lot of time and assures that the assigned inspector is certified to perform that type of inspection. It is important to keep track of your inspectors that have auto-assign disciplines set up. If an inspector leaves your agency, any of their assigned disciplines would need to be reassigned to minimize the disruption to your daily inspections.
Auto-assignment is also available by district. A district is a way to break down your jurisdiction into manageable parts for the purpose of inspection. District data would need to be provided in your APO load as parcel data in order to use this option. In this case, we could set up an inspector for a given district – as designated in your APO load (this can be added if you don’t already have this)- and they would be assigned all inspections with parcels that occur in their designated district. This option can be very helpful for counties where it could take hour(s) just to drive to one inspection.
An inspection is assigned to the discipline associated to the large inspection group it belongs to. Because of this, sometimes the autoassigned inspection will need to be reassigned to another inspector. For instance, 1065 Sidewalk inspection has an designated discipline of Structural (Commercial) , however in some jurisdictions these are performed by a Public Works inspector. This inspection will be auto-assigned to the Structural (Commercial) inspector and would need to be reassigned to Public Works if that is who does the inspection. There are a small number of inspection types that have a similar conflict like this – if you are unsure, please submit a help ticket to inquire.
If you would like to add/remove/change disciplines or districts on any of your inspector users, please submit a helpdesk ticket to epermitshelp.BCD@dcbs.oregon.gov and fill out the Add/Remove user form found here: http://orepermittinghelp.kayako.com/Knowledgebase/Article/View/addingremoving-user-accountorepermittinghelp.kayako.com/Knowledgebase/Article/View/addingremoving-user-accounts.
Enhanced Expiration Letter
The Expiration Letter has been enhanced so that it can be generated for a single record. It is also now available from the Summary page. To generate an expiration letter, navigate to the Summary page > hover over Reports > click Expiration Letter:
There are new required parameters. Depending on your selections, the report will generate different language.
Record Number = Enter the record number. Please note that single quotes are no longer needed.
Letter Type = Application or Permit
Contact Type = Applicant or Owner
Module = select the appropriate module
You can use the record list filter named, "Records Assigned to Me - All" to track your assigned records.
Additionally, there is a new report available through Report 1 under Workflow called, "Assigned Building Records" that can be used for tracking all assigned Building records.
Accela 101 Training (3 part series): www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCrlQ45XMyFwGN5psfyyH9At1d8N3wDKj
Code Enforcement Focus Training: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tr3HOXhshYc
Planning Module Focus Training: https://youtu.be/UaabyfzMKEQ
A link to the Oregon ePermitting YouTube that includes a few other training videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPrRRU13H4Ajohabvo_sRwg
The receipt has been updated to allow agencies to create specific information for the header when the receipt is issued for a POS transaction.
Over the past couple of years, you may have noticed that the header for a POS transaction is not related to the module where the POS transaction occurred, but rather to the preferred module for the user who performed the transaction. For agencies using only one module (e.g. Onsite only agencies, Building only agencies and Planning only agencies), this is not a problem. Agencies using multiple modules may have users whose preferred module is Building, but sometimes perform POS transactions in other modules.
To accommodate those agencies using multiple modules, a new option has been added for Agency Contact Info. The Agency Contact Info POS allows the agency to have specific values for:
Right now, these values are set to the Building module values for all agencies, except those agencies using only Onsite or Planning modules. If the agency is using only the Onsite module, the values are set to the same as the Agency Contact Info Onsite. For those using only the Planning module, the values are set to those of Agency Contact Info Planning.
If your agency wants to customize the value for POS transactions, please submit a help desk ticket and fillout the appropriate submittals found here: http://orepermittinghelp.kayako.com/Knowledgebase/Article/View/agency-contact-submittal-all-modules-pos.
Record Link Enhancement
A new OSM enhancement was completed at the end of September where the Record Link is now available on all record types that are available through Citizen Access. The Record Link is the direct link to each specific record on Citizen Access. It can now be easily copied and pasted into any communication to your customer. The Record Link can be added to the public user’s browser favorites for easy access or can be sent to other interested parties. It is an easy way for public users to access records without the need to search or log into Citizen Access. The Record Link can be found on the primary custom fields tab for each record type, toward the bottom of the screen. The Record Link is also available on Citizen Access and is clickable so users can easily add the record to their browser favorites. It is expected functionality for the Citizen Access “wrapper” to not be visible when accessing the record through the Record Link. We hope that this enhancement adds more functionality for communication with your customers!
Citizen Access (under Record Details > More Details > Application Information):
Update Browser Favorites
In 2018 we moved to an Azure data center and our Citizen Access (ACA) site changed URLs. For the convenience of our public users, Accela set up a URL redirect. This means that when a user visits the old URL for Citizen Access (https://aca.oregon.accela.com/oregon) there is a redirect that automatically and seamlessly routes the user to the current URL for Citizen Access (https://aca-oregon.accela.com/oregon). Beginning in early 2023, Accela will retire this URL redirect and users will get an error if they try to access the old URL. To avoid any issues, please be sure to update your browser “favorites” for Citizen Access to www.BuildingPermits.Oregon.gov and help pass along the message to your public users!
We had a record-breaking number of agency fee updates this past July, approximately 63% of our 80+ agencies had a major fee update. Given the sheer volume, we ran into several agencies that thought that only sending their fee update for BCD Notice would also come to ePermitting for update – this is not the case. This misunderstanding caused significant delays and rework for many agencies.
As a result of these challenges, we wanted to share the ePermitting fee update process and BCD Notice requirement with all participating agencies.
Fee Update process with ePermitting – we ask that you send us your final fee update draft as soon as it’s available, it does not have to be adopted and we highly recommend that you send any fee updates to us PRIOR to submitting for BCD Notice.
We will perform a fee analysis – reviewing for methodology requirements as per Division 50, fees required by program authority, Policy interpretations, and any ePermitting system requirements (including standardization of Residential/Commercial Plumbing fixture list and Residential Mechanical appliance list). Upon analysis, we will send back any suggested corrections and/or updates that might be necessary - again PRIOR to adoption or going to BCD Notice – this is key! Agencies that miss this step or are unaware, often end up delayed in implementing their updated fees, doing rework, and in some cases having to repeat the BCD Notice process – we don’t want this for any of our agencies. The ePermitting system, records and applications, are designed to incorporate the required fees and methods.
Once the fee update draft is finalized – then it is ready for local adoption and BCD Notice. The local adoption and Notice processes can happen concurrently.
BCD Notice for Building fees – any new fees, increases to existing fees, or changes in methodology that result in an increase must be sent through the required BCD Notice process. Teri Watson (email@example.com) is the Policy contact that manages this process. The BCD Notice period is 45 days – so updates should be sent/done in enough advance of the effective date of your fee update. Please note, that it has recently been determined that Tech fee and any other ‘surcharge’ type fees assessed on building fees, must also go through the BCD Notice process.
If you have any questions about this process, submit a helpdesk ticket to epermitshelp.BCD@dcbs.oregon.gov.
We have create a new website, the ePermitting Jurisdiction HUB - as a comprehensive resource for participating jurisdictions, so you can bookmark ONE website for all the information and communication you need in using the system. We will be adding informational links along the way as projects are scheduled, that might impact jurisdictions.
Our Accela 101 Basics Training will be starting a new 3-part series Aug. 16. It's been slightly delayed due to staff schedules but will be back on track starting Aug. 16.
Each weekly training session will be offered to assist agencies who have lost their in-house experts/trainers or are needing a refresher of the basics. We have a lot of agencies that have lost their experts or are dealing with recent or high turnover, so training to ‘hit the ground running’ is now being offered. Submit a ticket to the Kayako helpdesk to request information on the current training schedule and availability. We plan to provide training every week on Tuesdays from 9:30 a.m. to noon.
One of the changes that occurred during the last software upgrade was the inclusion of the “Office” field on the payment screen. In order to avoid negative consequences for jurisdictions that have different offices for accepting payments, we have had to add this field to all jurisdictions’ payment pages.
For jurisdictions that do not have offices, we have defaulted the value to “not applicable” (we are using that instead of no office, so that receipts do not say that the payment was received in “no office”).
By defaulting this, no one needs to choose a value when taking a payment in a “no office” jurisdiction.
In addition, this change affects financial reports that have an office parameter choice. For jurisdictions without offices, there used to be the choice of, “all, online and no office.”
Now there is, “all, online and not applicable.” The “all” choice will bring up absolutely every payment (even some old ones that have blank office fields); “online” brings back online transactions only, and “Not applicable” brings back the non-online transactions only.
It has recently come to our attention that some agencies are still using the ‘Billed’ exceptional payment method to pay permit fees in the Building Module.
Billed: The ‘Billed’ payment method was created to allow the agency to indicate that the customer will receive an invoice or bill and the permit will be allowed to advance through the workflow regardless of when actual funds are received. This is the decision of the issuing agency and the responsibility to track of the issuing agency.
Please note, if you are one of these agencies:
The ePermitting Program will be ending support of Accela Electronic Document Review (AEDR) and Adobe Acrobat on November 1, 2022. This means we will no longer support or provide the AEDR client software or Adobe Acrobat licenses to jurisdictions. We made the hard decision to end support of AEDR and Adobe Acrobat because of the complexity of Adobe licenses, the difficulty of staying up to date with a compatible version of Adobe Acrobat, and the addition of new electronic plan review alternatives. If your agency uses AEDR with Adobe Acrobat for electronic plan review, please contact us right away, by submiting a helpdesk ticket to epermitshelp.BCD@dcbs.oregon.gov, so that we can help you implement one of the alternative electronic document review products we offer – see below.
We are offering a Public Work focus training scheduled on Thursday, Aug. 18 from 9 to 11 a.m. This training will be offered remotely also thru Teams. If you are interested in this added training and your agency has the PW module – even if you’ve already been trained by your coworkers, I would recommend this ‘by design’ training to learn some of the unique features and details of this module.
Please send a email help ticket to epermitshelp.BCD@dcbs.oregon.gov to request sign up for this PW training.
Recent OMS changes
Recently, our team has received questions about the Accela Inspector app and the Accela Mobile App. Neither of these apps work with Oregon ePermitting and will not function properly.
Any inspectors using these apps should immediately delete them and install the Oregon Inspector App that has been developed and maintained by the Oregon ePermitting team.
The Oregon Inspector App has the State of Oregon Seal on the icon.
iOS version: https://citygovapp.com/app/oregoniaios.html
Android version: https://citygovapp.com/app/oregoniaandroid.htm
The current Oregon Inspection Request app is being upgraded. For the past few months, we have been adding and testing new tools and features on this app. With all of the upgrades to the app, it has moved past being just an inspection scheduling tool. Accordingly, we are changing the official name to the Oregon ePermitting App to address how much more comprehensive it is becoming in addressing overall customer needs.
The new and improved Oregon ePermitting App:
ePermitting is working to finalize the App on both iOS and Android platforms and are working towards a late May to early June release date. When ready, we will announce the release so current and new users can download it from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. Once released, we will begin scheduling in-person trainings around the state. Anyone wishing to host an in-person training at an association or trade group meeting, contact Jerod Broadfoot via email at Jerod.A.Broadfoot@dcbs.Oregon.gov.
Accela Version Upgrade
Version 21.2.5 was installed in our Dev environment in early March, the ePermitting team has been thoroughly testing the new version which is going well. We expect to wrap-up testing in our Dev environment by mid-May.
Config Refresh and Agency First Look
Accela is refreshing our Config environment this week with current Prod data (except for a few agencies which have been excluded for various reasons). We will then be upgrading Config to version 21.2.5 by May 16th. After Config has been upgraded, we will be inviting users to come take a look. You’ll notice then that there isn’t a big difference. There will, however, be some configuration changes coming with this upgrade that you won’t necessarily see until Production has been upgraded. Some are necessary for maintenance purposes and others are features which, we believe, will be welcome quality-of-life changes for daily users.
One change you will notice in Config after it has been upgraded, is that some of the forms will look “off”. With this version, Accela has converted all forms to their new form designer. The default conversion doesn’t always work well with the way that we have designed forms, so as part of our upgrade project, we have a subproject to update the critical forms in Prod (e.g. Record Search, Inspection Search and parts of the intake forms) prior to the version upgrade. We will advise you via GovDelivery (sign up here) when that has happened. Along with performance and security enhancements, both Chrome and Edge will now be fully supported (IE11 will no longer be supported).
Production Upgrade Schedule
Prod is scheduled to be upgraded the weekend of June 11-13. We will be providing you with regular updates and more information in the coming weeks as we progress through our testing and the upgrade project.
We will be sharing more information about those changes as the upgrade project progresses via the upgrade website which can be found at: https://www.oregon.gov/bcd/epermitting/howto/Pages/upgrade-info.aspx.
If your agency has an upcoming fee increase, or any other fee changes, effective July 1, 2022, send your updates to the ePermitting team ASAP by sending an email to the Kayako Helpdesk. Important note, your fee update ticket submittal does not have to wait for your agency to adopt or approve them, the fee update process can begin parallel to your adoption/approval process. Final drafts of fee updates are acceptable to begin this time-sensitive process. Late submittals might not be able to be accommodated for July 1st start given the volume of requests for update. Also a friendly reminder – new fees, fee increases or method changes that result in an increase, are required to go through the BCD Fee Notice process; please send ePermitting a draft copy of your fees prior to submitting for Notice to avoid any delays or potential requirement to re-notice.
Our Accela 101 Basics Training will be starting a new 3-part series May 10. Each weekly training session will be offered to assist agencies who have lost their in-house experts/trainers or are needing a refresher of the basics. We have a lot of agencies that have lost their experts or are dealing with recent or high turnover, so training to ‘hit the ground running’ is now being offered. Submit a ticket to the Kayako helpdesk to request information on the current training schedule and availability. We plan to provide training every week on Tuesdays from 9:30 a.m. to noon.
OSM Changes from Last Month
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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