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By: Amy Hart

Game-changing tactics. That's what the Regional Opportunities Council (ROC) was looking for in 2011 when it selected the priorities for Vision 2020. The ROC recognized that in order for us to change the story of Northeast Indiana, the region had to uncover ideas that were difficult to execute but had a high desirability to achieve them.

One idea that eventually became a Vision 2020 priority was Streamlined Permitting. The ROC selected Streamlined Permitting because it believes improving the permitting systems across jurisdictions will encourage greater economic growth in Northeast Indiana. Streamlined permitting processes will make it easier for businesses to obtain appropriate permits to build and expand in the region.

Laying the foundation

Vision 2020 contracted with the High Performance Government Network (HPGN) to assist with the priority.

Permitting WorkshopIn 2012, HPGN looked for best practices around the country (there are none being tackled on a regional scale), surveyed regional jurisdictions about their permitting processes and identified three core customer values to be addressed through this process: consistency, transparency and easy access. That same year, Vision 2020 convened the Permitting Taskforce to act as an advisory group for the priority.

Going to work

Nine jurisdictions elected to participate in the first year of the Permitting Excellence Coalition the first of its kind in the country. Representatives from the jurisdictions met throughout 2014 to work on their core values by developing a streamlined and standardized permitting page for their websites, attending customer service trainings provided by HPGN and outlining current permitting processes.

Permitting LuncheonThe collaboration of the participating jurisdictions was celebrated at a recognition luncheon on November 19 with HPGN, the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, Vision 2020 Permitting Taskforce, Mayors' and Commissioners' Caucus and LEDO Council.

Looking ahead

The work completed this year by the Permitting Excellence Coalition is setting the stage for future progress. Pending funding, plans are underway to regularly convene the Permitting Excellence Coalition, and HPGN will continue to work with each participating jurisdiction, with additional jurisdictions being able to come on board as able, to move forward with process improvements.

This progress will aid in fulfilling the priority's mission: to help create a business-friendly environment that will attract and retain top industry leaders.

To learn more about this priority, visit the Streamlined Permitting page.

Original Article at neindiana.com

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