In the September 2016 issue of the Plans Examiner, we outlined BDS’s efforts to address persistently high workload demands and improve the timeliness of services to customers and the community. We continue to see significant increases in several key workload measures compared to the previous year, including:
- 13% increase in permit applications;
- 14% increase in the number of permits issued;
- 19% increase in land use applications;
We are beginning to make progress in improving the timeliness of some services, such as the permit pre-issuance process. Our ongoing efforts to leverage additional resources include:
- Since June 2016 we have filled 58 vacant staff positions, with more on the way. We continue working with the Bureau of Human Resources (BHR) to prioritize and expedite our recruitments.
- Since June 2016 we have been sending some plans each week to the State Building Codes Division (BCD) for review.
- We have two staff from CMTS, LLC working on contract to provide short-term staffing assistance in our Plan Review and Permitting Services groups. The contract with CMTS runs through December 31, 2016.
- We have signed or are close to signing contracts with firms for longer-term staffing assistance in several areas, including plan review, engineering, permit technicians, inspections, and zoning code administration. All contracts should be in place in November 2016.
- Diversity Workgroup, LLC has been on contract since July 2016 to help us recruit more effectively from diverse communities. Their contract is being extended to run through the end of November.
We remain committed to providing timely, relevant services to customers and the community. We will continue working to augment our staffing resources and improve service levels. Up-to-date information on BDS workload and service levels is available on our website at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bds/66308.