The city of Houston has contracted with Woolpert to implement the Oracle Policy Automation (OPA) content management system and develop a website portal that will streamline the city’s permitting processes and improve customer service.
The $4.1 million contract includes research, website design, content management system development, configuration and maintenance over a three-year maintenance period, with two optional one-year renewals.
The new Houston Permitting Center website will allow customers to answer a series of questions online to quickly navigate the permitting process. It also will provide comprehensive customer support.
“We’re revamping the front end of the process for citizens who need to file permits,” said Roy Interrante, Woolpert project manager. “They will no longer have to weed through dozens of paper permits, as is the case in many cities, to try to figure out what they need. They can start online, filter through prompts and know what they need to submit and when they need to submit it. This way, nothing falls through the cracks.”
Interrante added that this OPA technology has been implemented for permitting systems at the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and Miami-Dade County, similarly addressing system needs and successfully guiding customers.
Woolpert CEO Scott Cattran began discussing this implementation plan with Houston in 2013, when he was an infrastructure service line director.
“We’re excited to move forward with this project and pleased to be able to support Houston,” said Cattran. “We are looking forward to partnering with the city to bring this added value to the citizens of Houston.”
The project was approved by the Houston City Council last week. Initial website development is now underway.