Washington State Senate Bill 5290 -Get Your Agency to Compliance with Digital Experience Automation

By ImageSource Team on May 13, 2024

Meeting the Housing Crisis Head-On

Washington state, in 2023, enacted a bill designed to increase the housing supply with a major focus on streamlining a key element associated with building new homes: the permitting process. While most of the bill is already implemented, the portion dealing with systems and staffing will begin in 2025.  

The legislation, Senate Bill 5290, sets forth grants for municipalities to improve systems and processes (including staff needs) to efficiently manage building permits and establish fines for failure to meet service levels within the permitting process.

Two architects in construction hats conduct business on a tablet at a construction site.

The state wants municipalities to focus on key aspects of process improvement, including but not limited to migration from “paper filing systems to software systems capable of processing digital permit applications, virtual inspections, electronic review, and with capacity for video storage.”

That’s a big step forward.

Among the obligations for service delivery are:

  • Local governments must determine the completeness of permit applications within 28 days, including notification of other governments and agencies with jurisdiction over project aspects.
  • For resubmissions, within 14 days, the local government must provide the applicant with a notification regarding what additional information is required or if the application can be considered complete.
  • A public comment period must be at least 14 days but no more than 30 days following the date of notice of application.

There are also annual reporting requirements to ensure that requirements are being met.

The Takeaway – Technology Alone isn’t a Silver Bullet

When faced with meeting new regulations, many organizations would start looking for technology solutions to solve their problems. But technology is agnostic to processes, both good and bad. Adopting a solution without identifying process inefficiencies and corrective actions will, at best, take a flawed process and make it even more complex.

Of note, all the audited counties utilize some technology to process permits, yet it isn’t enough to enable full compliance. For example, some counties only use permitting technology for certain types of permits, while others fall short on using technology to support key areas such as applicant communication and status tracking.

Agencies must start with a holistic approach, taking an inventory of the current state of processes: documenting inefficiencies and where they occur, discovering the stages of a process that are likely to fail, and identifying required changes. Only then should technology discussions take place.

Where ILINX Fits In

The ILINX platform improves efficiency, reduces risk, maximizes value, and optimizes digital experiences for state and local government. Wherever systems need connecting and processes need automation, ILINX is the flexible, powerful foundation that enables organizations to modernize operations and achieve process innovation.

Unlike solutions that force organizations to adopt a specific and pre-defined path, ILINX, via a no-code, open, and human-centric workflow, enables organizations to adapt it to meet their needs. Once agencies identify where changes are required, ILINX is the flexible, modular solution that makes process improvement through technology smoother, more efficient, and successful.

Key with ILINX is the ability to select and deploy several out-of-the-box capabilities commonly needed to enable efficient, error-free permitting, including support for online applications, collection and processing supplemental documentation, content management, tracking and reporting, and mobile and virtual meeting technologies that enable virtual inspections and public review and comment. ILINX also ensures process transparency and controlled communication via a no-code, multi-persona experience.

The result is a coordinated, transparent, and trackable digital experience from application submission through review, approval, and reporting.

ImageSource, the manufacturer of ILINX, has been helping state and government agencies modernize systems and processes since 1993. Our eGovernment solutions include digital experiences, public records process automation, AI, and more.

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