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Council Approves BDS Information Technology Advancement Project


BDS Customers, Stakeholders and Citizens,

I am excited and pleased to share with you that on Wednesday, November 10, 2010, City Council gave us the green light to go ahead with the BDS Information Technology Advancement Project. This project includes the replacement of our existing permitting and case tracking computer software system with the Accela Government Software program and the digitalization of our historical permit and property information, making the records accessible online free of charge.

This is a major two-year project focused on ensuring that BDS and our interagency development review partners have an efficient and effective IT system available. The upgrade will allow employees to provide property owners, businesses and the citizens of Portland a high level of services possible. The system allows customer to perform much of their land use review, permitting and inspection work online, including submitting applications online, retrieving inspection results in real-time and being notified of issued checksheets electronically.

Council's approval of this project completes the planning, research and proposal stage of the project. We worked closely with the Bureau of Technology Services (BTS) to investigate and evaluate the electronic permitting systems in other jurisdictions that ended with Council's approval of our recommendation to move to the Accela Government Software.

Over the next month and a half we will be negotiating a contract with Accela, writing an intergovernmental agreement with the State of Oregon, and working with the City Treasurer to secure a line of credit to fund the project. The State of Oregon is currently utilizing Accela and we will begin refining the scope of work as it relates to that system, as well as fine-tuning a high-level project plan and building the project implementation team.

Bringing a new software system online is a momentous undertaking. Progress updates will be made available on a regular basis. In the meantime, feel free to check in with Hank McDonald, our project manager, at or (503)-823-9258 if you have questions.

You can learn more about Accela Government Software by visiting them online at

Best regards,

Paul L. Scarlett, Director

Bureau of Development Services


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