Streamlining News Archive

GO-Biz recognizes the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW)
7/11/2014 10:34:00 AM

GO-Biz recognizes the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) for their continuing work to modernize their regulatory permitting responsibilities.  Following are some case studies of work being done by the department that will improve the business climate in California. 

  • CDFW has developed and implemented an online California Natural Diversity Data Base that allows users to determine the known locations and condition of rare and listed species.  The database includes mapping and reporting capabilities and will allow project proponents to acquire information on rare species early in their planning process.
  • CDFW online license service for hunting and fishing were first made available three years ago. The system is functioning smoothly and has made obtaining the necessary licenses much more efficient.  The online portal retains previously submitted information so that application renewal processes can be auto-populated in subsequent years. The system also serves as a database to easily query information about license holders when needed.

Here is a look at what else is underway:

  • Scientific collecting permits (SCP): An SCP permit is required to take, collect, capture, mark, or salvage any mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, invertebrates, birds, their nests and eggs. Such activities are permitted only for scientific, educational, and non-commercial propagation purposes. The process to grant SCPs has taken up to a year to complete. An electronic system to issue permits and collect fees is under construction. 
  • Commercial Marine Data Reporting: In order to effectively manage California's fisheries resources, CDFW must know the commercial catch.  The current system is paper based and there is a significant delay before data is transmitted, received, and entered into an internal database.  With such delays, the department may close seasons before the actual catch exceeds the targeted level in order to avoid over-fishing, which creates substantial frustration within the fishing industry.  CDFW is developing an electronic reporting system to close this time lag. 
  • Timber Harvest Plan (THP) Review:  In order to log on private or corporate-owned land, a registered professional forester must prepare a document which outlines the proposed logging operations, known as the Timber Harvest Plan (THP). CAL FIRE, the Department of Conservation, the State Water Resources Control Board and CDFW all must review and signoff on timber harvest plans.  In a collaborative effort to speed up review time and share information, the departments are working to implement a data management system and develop an online form intended to eliminate duplicative reporting.

“Our department is committed to modernizing,” said Tom Lupo, CDFW’s Deputy Director of the Data and Technology Division. “Utilizing new technologies benefits our clients, or permittees, our own employees, the public and the state’s fish and wildlife. Everyone wins.”

GO-Biz appreciates the accomplishments of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. CDFW’s hard work and determination to bring modern technology into their operations helps improve the regulatory climate of California.               

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GO-Biz recognizes the Silicon Valley Leadership Group
4/1/2014 9:55:00 AM
GO-Biz recognizes the Silicon Valley Leadership Group for awarding local government entities for their best practices and innovative services.

We recognize the Silicon Valley Leadership Group for their “Turning Red Tape into Red Carpet” awards program. The program commends local government agencies for improving service to citizens and encourages an environment that furthers economic development and job creation.

The Leadership Group, in partnership with other business associations in the Silicon Valley, held their first awards ceremony on December 13, 2013. The awards program was judged by former public sector officials and private sector business leaders in Silicon Valley. Awards highlighted 5 specific categories: Business Retention and Expansion, Responding to Globalization, Sustainable Green Development, Real Estate Redevelopment and Reuse, and Use of Innovative Technology.

“All too often, private citizens complain about public agencies,” said Silicon Valley Leadership Group CEO Carl Guardino.  “We should also remember to commend public agencies when they are innovative, responsive and creative in efforts to grow the economy and jobs.”

“In Silicon Valley, we are often at the epicenter of innovation,” continued Guardino.  “However, our Turning Red Tape into Red Carpet awards program was actually borrowed from Lucy Dunn at the Orange County Business Council, proving that great ideas can be created or emulated.”

Over 30 applications were submitted from 21 public agencies and were judged on the extent of economic impact, achievement of stated goals through measurable results, public-private partnerships, innovation, and ability to be re-created.  The panel of judges selected seven award winners in the five categories (two categories included two winners) from projects submitted by the City and County of San Francisco, Dublin, Redwood City, San Jose, San Jose Mineta International Airport and Santa Clara County.   The award program is proof that public-private sector partnerships can work to improve efficiency of service and improve business climate and create jobs.   The Leadership Group will begin soliciting applications from public agencies in mid spring, and the 2014 “Turning Red Tape into Red Carpet” award reception will be on December 11, 2014 in San Jose.

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GO-Biz recognizes the Orange County Business Council
3/24/2014 10:07:00 AM

GO-Biz recognizes the Orange County Business Council for awarding local government entities for its best practices and innovative services.

We recognize the Orange County Business Council (OCBC) for its “Turning Red Tape into Red Carpet” awards program. The program applauds local municipal programs and projects that go above and beyond to cut through bureaucratic red tape and encourages business development, growth, jobs creation and success.

OCBC’s Turning Red Tape into Red Carpet Awards was developed to honor local governmental agencies for implementing innovative policies and programs that cut through red tape, eliminate barriers to economic growth, and open doors to private sector job creation.  By recognizing those programs, OCBC encourages other public sector agencies to follow in the same footsteps, creating policies and programs that have a positive impact on Orange County’s economy.

Program Awards are presented annually for achievement in the following categories: Business Retention and Expansion, Responding to Globalization, Sustainable and Green Development, and Real Estate Redevelopment and Reuse. The Partnership Award is presented to the nominee demonstrating a steadfast commitment to public-private partnerships, and the Leadership Award is presented to an outstanding leader in the public sector who is advancing economic development in their community.

“Orange County is producing diverse, high-quality and innovative solutions to ‘cut red tape’ and ‘roll out the red carpet’ for job creators,” said Lucy Dunn, OCBC President and CEO. “The winners of this prestigious business honor will not only positively impact Orange County, but all of California. These new strategies are a welcome change of culture in government that comes at a time when the economy is recovering, and when efficiency and effectiveness in government guarantee business success.”

The winners are selected by a committee of diverse business industries, chaired by Dan Miller, Senior Vice President, Entitlement and Public Affairs, The Irvine Company. Since the beginning of the program in 2011, the nomination pool has consistently comprised of high-quality applications in each award categories.  Nominations are received from a diverse number of public agencies including county departments, cities, special districts, and school districts.  OCBC has also witnessed increased media coverage and replication of the program, particularly with the Silicon Valley Leadership Group in San Jose, the Inland Empire Economic Partnership in San Bernardino, and other economic development organizations interested in job creation.

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Go-Biz Recognizes the California Department of Industrial Relations
3/10/2014 11:12:00 AM

 The California Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) is recognized for expediting their farm labor contractor (FLC) licensing processes through their new on-line system that was launched in February 2014.

The DLSE licenses garment contractors, carwashes and farm labor contractors, as well as talent agencies, studio teachers, and minors in entertainment. In 2010, it took an average of 60 days for DLSE staff to review and process registration and licensing applications for garment contractors, carwashes and farm labor contractors.  Online functions for applications and fees were non-existent.

"Since I became Labor Commissioner, I have heard complaints from farm labor contractors about the process for obtaining a license," said Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su.  "The improvements we have made to upgrade our services, work smarter, provide timely, reliable responses, and enhance on-line options show that we are listening.  We want to make it easy for employers who play by the rules to do so and we want them to know the State is on their side."

The Labor Commissioner made a concerted effort to streamline the application process, prevent duplication of effort by the regulated community and the DLSE, and successfully reduced the time for reviewing licenses and granting applications to an average of 30 days by 2012 and to 20 days in 2013.  Now FLCs who are applying for licenses or seek to renew can go on-line, fill out an application, upload the required documents, and click "submit."  The FLC online licensing system also allows users to pay fees, save and go back to previously entered in information and submit their completed application entirely online. In addition, California growers can also electronically confirm whether farm labor contractors are registered as required before entering into a contract.

DLSE’s new online system has reduced the time it takes for businesses seeking to apply or renew their applications. GO-Biz applauds DLSE staff for effectively streamlining and modernizing the FLC application process and congratulates them on becoming a Streamlining Superstar!


For more information, see this link:

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GO-Biz Applauds the Association of California Cities - Orange County
1/30/2014 11:08:00 AM

GO-Biz Applauds the Association of California Cities - Orange County for recognizing local government innovators. 

Recognizing those who recognize others – a perfect reason to celebrate the first Streamlining Superstar of 2014. The Association of California Cities - Orange County (ACC-OC) has been recognizing local government innovators since its launch in 2011. This recognition is now celebrated through their Golden Hub of Innovation Awards Program. ACC-OC leaders understand the value of sharing the story of innovation that takes place daily at the local government level. Awards highlight innovators in 6 categories: Technology & E-Government, Budgeting & Finance, Public Safety, Planning & Development, Staffing/Service Delivery Options, and Other Innovative & Cost Savings Programs.

“Cities are hubs of innovation,” said Lacy Kelly, CEO of ACC-OC, “Every day, they are implementing policies and procedures that measurably improve the lives of residents. We look at these awards as a method to broadcast these innovations across California for the benefit of all local governments and their citizens.”

After receiving over 50 nominations their first year, ACCOC recognized that their award program could also serve as a platform for sharing good ideas. As a result they’ve began publishing a Compendium of Ideas that highlights award winners and shared the story of every nominee. The 2012 Compendium is full of great innovations – many of which we’ll be highlighting through future stories. In mid-2013 ACCOC celebrated their second Golden Hub of Innovation Awards, and they’ll be coming out with their 2014 Compendium soon.

“We applaud ACC-OC for recognizing and sharing local government innovation,” said Paul Martin, Deputy Director for Permit Assistance at GO-Biz. “Celebrating and learning from the success of others promotes continuous process improvement.”

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GO-Biz Recognizes the City of Anaheim
12/9/2013 2:06:00 PM

GO-Biz is recognizing the City of Anaheim as a Streamlining Superstar! Anaheim has developed a model Business Assistance Program that is customer driven. The Business Assistance Program offers personalized assistance for any business submitting plans for tenant improvements, expansion of existing space, or construction of new structures. An assigned Business Solutions Specialist serves as the single point of contact to answer questions, monitor the progress of projects, and link communication between city staff and clients. They work side by side with the client from the time plans are submitted to the final inspection. The single point of contact provides behind-the-scenes coordination amongst the multiple city departments and other government agencies. Through facilitating communication between the customer and internal participants, the business solutions specialists can recognize and resolve potential challenges before they become problems.  

Online since March of 2013, the program has assisted 612 development customers.  Customer Satisfaction Surveys are sent out to customers to obtain feedback on the service provided. The feedback so far has been fantastic. 100% of customers indicated they were either impressed with the service or that the service exceeded their expectations. An impressive 94% reported effective coordination between City departments during the permit process. 

“Starting a new business is naturally stressful and risky, so before investing their time, passion and family nest eggs in pioneering ventures, it is critical for new owners to carefully select the right community for a long term partnership. The City of Anaheim has recognized the importance of these relationships as investments in the future. Their understanding not just of business policy but the needs of business people and time sensitivity is exceptionally impressive and demonstrated with this new Business Assistance Program." Shaheen Sadeghi, CEO and founder, LAB Holding, LLC.

This program was a result of the Mayor’s Regulatory Relief Task Force.  The Task Force consisted of local business leaders, regional regulatory agencies, and City staff, and was called to identify ways the City could reduce compliance time and costs, and increase certainty for businesses entering into our development review process. 

For more information on the Business Assistance Program, click here

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GO-Biz Recognizes Sacramento County
10/21/2013 8:31:00 AM

GO-Biz would like to recognize Sacramento County as its first County Streamlining Superstar. With two new Building Assistance Centers opened this year, customers are raving about the comprehensive building, planning and related services now available in one location. Gone are the days when customers had to visit multiple buildings and service areas to get the information they needed; now most everything is available in the centers either in person or via video conferencing.

The Downtown Building Assistance Center, located at 827 7th Street, Sacramento, is a full service center offering Building Permits and Inspections, Engineering and Survey (SIPS), Planning and Environmental, Transportation, Water Resources and Metro Fire. 

The Goethe Road Building Assistance Center offers Building Permits and Inspection, Planning, Code Enforcement, and Engineering and Survey (SIPS) two-days a week.  Other departments can be reached via video conferencing. Both Centers offer free Wi-Fi, charging areas, TVs and coffee/water while you wait. Plus customers may use conference rooms equipped for video conferencing.

"The new centers are much more convenient for the general public. It's easier now that you don't have to visit multiple departments," said Greg Hatfield, Hatfield Development Consulting.

“I really appreciate the new set up! It’s so convenient and helpful to have almost all the different County departments represented in one room,” said Butch Hage, Construction Manager and Facilities Director at Bradshaw Christian School.

“Sacramento County has combined modern day technology with good old-fashioned collaboration and teamwork to make it easier to do business, making them deserving of a Streamlining Superstar Award,” said Paul Martin, Deputy Director for Permit Assistance. 

For More Information on Sacramento County’s Community Development services, visit this link.

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GO-Biz Recognizes the City of Turlock
9/6/2013 9:59:00 AM

The City of Turlock is recognized as a Streamlining Superstar for their successful implementation of the Westside Industrial Specific Plan (WISP) that paved the way for development of an “Agri-Science Cluster.”  While Specific Plans are not new tools, the City of Turlock deserves recognition for tailoring one that streamlines the process for approving new agricultural businesses that thrive in the central valley.  The economic development benefits were celebrated in Turlock with the grand opening of a 200,000 square-foot Blue Diamond almond processing plant that is bringing 300 new jobs to the city.

The WISP created the city’s Regional Industrial Park, encompassing 2,615 acres.  Approval of the WISP was concurrent with a certified Environmental Impact Report (EIR), making the city ready to welcome developments like Blue Diamond’s new almond processing facility.  By adopting the WISP, the City of Turlock planned and invested in infrastructure that is friendly to agri-business, from truck circulation to wastewater facilities to proximity to a new energy plant, and environmental impacts of potential new industrial uses were studied in the EIR that was adopted with the Specific Plan.  “With the Master Plan and environmental approval already completed, the city was able to issue entitlements and complete the project-level environmental review for Blue Diamond within roughly ten weeks of the application,” said Maryn Pitt, Assistant to the City Manager for Economic Development and Housing. 

Since the Master Plan was already completed, the City was able to immediately create a joint construction team during the building permit review and construction phases of the project.  The City’s expedited plan review process as well as a phased issuance of building permits kept the project moving.  “Blue Diamond had a great contractor, and the City dedicated a building inspector full time to the project,” added Pitt.   Operation of the first test line took place within a year and three days of the issuance of the building permit, which was made possible by the Master Plan process performing a streamlining function.

In addition to thoughtful planning, the City of Turlock made an earnest effort to improve the customer service experience of those who do business with the city.  The City studied their project routing processes to identify opportunities for increased efficiency and engaged Merced College’s Customer Service Academy to provide onsite training.  The classes provided cutting edge training designed to enhance team work, customer service skills, and to empower employees with the capabilities needed to effectively work with customers and co-workers.

For more information about the City of Turlock’s Westside Industrial Specific Plan, visit this link.

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GO-Biz Recognizes the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board
7/25/2013 9:14:00 AM

GO-Biz recognizes the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board as a Streamlining Superstar for their efforts to work collaboratively with the dairy community and other stakeholders.  Regional board staff worked diligently to understand the business of dairying and the operational constraints dairy farmers must deal with.

And that meant getting boots-on-the-ground to do it.  

Water board staff visited dairies to observe dairy operations and interviewed producers to ensure that the program they developed would fit the unique North Coast pasture-based dairy profile.  Of the 126 dairy farms in the North Coast area, staff conducted on-site physical assessments for 80, and provided advice and clarity to the farmers along the way.  Additionally, staff made significant efforts to be available throughout the process. They also supported and participated in farmer training workshops presented by the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program. 

Local chairman of the Sonoma County Farm Bureau’s Animal Resource Management Committee, Donald DeBernardi, stated “For nearly 25 years dairy producers in the North Coast Region have fostered a strong partnership with the regional water board. Through the years, the agency has worked to understand how we operate our farms and in return, dairy producers have been proactive in the protection of water quality. Through this partnership we have been able to work together to implement a results-based regulatory program that rewards dairies for their efforts to maintain high water quality and nutrient management standards. I couldn't imagine doing it any other way and look forward to the continued successes of our partnership with the Regional Board."

The North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board developed a sound, efficient, and cooperative working relationship with the dairy farms they regulate and with other interested parties.  All of which benefits the quality and protection of our shared water resource.  Their pro-active and collaborative approach makes them a Streamlining Superstar!

For more information on the North Coast Water Quality Program for Dairies, visit this link.


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GO-Biz Recognizes the City of Rancho Cordova
6/26/2013 4:56:00 PM

The City of Rancho Cordova is recognized as a Streamlining Superstar for their implementation of an electronic plan review system.  What started as a pilot project for tenant improvement applications has expanded to permits in the Building, Planning, and Public Works departments.

Previously, applicants would have been required to submit at least three hard copy sets for the initial submittal and three additional sets for each revision.  The new system allows the entire permitting process, from initial application through revisions and final approval, to be conducted electronically, saving applicants the time and expense of plan printing and delivery.

“By applying for an online account, applicants agree to use electronic signatures.  When we approve the plans, we place a digital approval stamp on the document, which the applicant receives as a locked PDF.  We have the applicant print a hard-copy to maintain on the jobsite, and the approved electronic copy is saved in the city’s database,” said Joe Cuffe, Permit Services Supervisor for the City of Rancho Cordova.

The City of Rancho Cordova also offers weekly meetings with the Development Services Team (DST).  The DST is a multi-disciplinary team with representatives across city departments. This collaborative format improves interdepartmental communication and allows applicants to get many of their preliminary questions answered.  In addition, after permits are issued, applicants may request a pre-construction meeting to meet with city inspectors at their project site.

For more information about the electronic plan review system, visit this link.

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