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The elected officials, department leaders and employees of Arapahoe County are unified in our goal to improve efficiency and streamline operations wherever possible. Even though the COVID pandemic and resulting shutdowns forced the County to use online appointments and transactions more comprehensively, in many cases this is merely a continuation of procedures that have been evolving for several years. As the County moves to more virtual ways of doing business, we also are shifting toward becoming more data-centric, so we can more easily identify any savings that result from the process changes.
“Arapahoe County has focused on identifying efficiencies and improving processes for many years as part of its goal of Fiscal Responsibility,” said Manisha Singh, the County’s director of Strategy and Performance. “One challenge we’ve started to address in earnest over the past couple of years is how to capture and quantify those savings, and we are in the midst of implementing a standardized process across the organization to enable that data collection.”
To take just one example, the County’s Public Works and Development (PWD) department recently migrated its building permitting process from one that required multiple visits to a County facility by permit-seekers, to a streamlined service that can be completed entirely online. Everything from submittal of plans for review to issuance of permits and payment of fees can be performed remotely.
In addition to the obvious benefits of conducting more operations remotely during the COVID situation, the switch to online permitting (which predated the recent shutdowns) has:
The success of PWD’s permitting changes also provides valuable lessons to other departments that are ramping up their online service offerings. “By implementing an online permitting process we’ve been able to streamline it in a way that reflects how most people prefer to do business these days,” said Joe Richards, Building Division Manager for PWD. “We’ve also reduced the amount of time and number of mistakes that were more common under the old way of doing things, which saves everyone money in the long run.”
Efforts like these are ongoing across all County departments and have already enhanced services such as vendor bid submissions, moving certain in-person meetings to virtual formats, and more. This is merely one example of the many ways Arapahoe County is fulfilling its mission of maintaining fiscal responsibility.