WEST PALM BEACH — Palm Beach County has earned two government experience project awards from the Center for Digital Government. The national awards honor U.S. governments leveraging innovative IT to enhance services and citizen experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. The recognition highlights the achievements and best practices of states, cities and counties that are improving the experience of government and pushing the boundaries of how citizen services are delivered.
These elite national rankings reflect the expertise of the county’s Information System Services (ISS) staff and strong support from the board of county commissioners, county administration and partner agencies.
The county received a government experience project award for the ePZB Building portal, a one-stop-shop for the construction industry in Palm Beach County. Based on a responsive UI web design, the portal allows applicants to apply for any building permit and complete the entire process online. The portal has reduced hard-copy application submissions by 85%, thus eliminating large amounts of paper and enabling concurrent review. With fewer people needing to visit the permit center, the spread of COVID-19 has been reduced.
The county was also recognized in the special category of COVID-19 response for its Business Complaint Dashboard. The online complaint form allows the public to report businesses that may be violating state and county emergency orders. The data collected is then provided to the public on the COVID-19 Dashboard app. In expanding the outreach to the public, these tools are accessible on the web from a computer or mobile device. The intent is to encourage businesses to conduct themselves responsibly to minimize the spread of COVID-19. The app was a collaborative effort between the county’s ISS and Planning, Zoning & Building departments. It provides an additional channel for the public, who previously could submit complaints only via phone or email.
“Our winners this year demonstrated that focusing on the government experience provides a foundation that played a vital role in responding and adapting to the uncertainties and disruptions of 2020,” said Dustin Haisler, chief innovation officer for the Center for Digital Government.
Palm Beach County was honored at a virtual awards ceremony on Sept. 24.