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DNREC takes action to improve permitting processes, agency

Cape Gazette of Lewes, Delaware

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Delaware's Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will launch an initiative to further streamline and expedite permitting, licensing and administrative processes, including management and storage of data throughout the department.

The initiative - which moves forward with DNREC's issuing of an RFP (request for proposals) for assistance in evaluating and redesigning agency administrative processes and performance improvement - is a significant next step in DNREC's efforts to develop greater business efficiencies. The plan builds on and extends improvements already achieved as part of Gov. Jack Markell's rapid response targeted turnaround times for permitting and business application reviews, while also enhancing transparency and public access to DNREC information and data.

The initiative marks another phase of continuous improvement of DNREC's government business model - especially for the divisions and programs within the department that issue permits and sell licenses. These investments have produced operational benefits - such as the Division of Parks & Recreation's new online system for purchasing surf-fishing permits - that also provide customer convenience. The initiative's focus will be drawn on improving data management and on making workflows more efficient through automation and modern information management technology DNREC, with assistance of the regulated community, previously reviewed a number of its permitting programs to improve the department's timeliness in responding. That effort resulted in reducing air permitting turnaround times by 50 percent (while eliminating backlog) and cutting brownfield remediation process times by 45 percent. Other DNREC programs also have achieved significant reductions in the time necessary for permit application review and have sustained permitting programs and operations by drawing on efficiencies identified and implemented with the regulated community. DNREC will engage stakeholders who routinely submit permit applications to gain their perspectives on helping guide the project. Anticipated benefits and improved efficiencies will include:

Quicker turnaround of environmental data and policy analysis requests

More certainty and less concern for businesses by reducing the time between application submission and permit decision

A higher percentage of DNREC processes streamlined and more information available for businesses, partner agencies and the public

Improved ability to solicit, receive, review and publish public comments

More structured information available for the public, researchers, partner agencies, municipalities, and others

Improved efficiency in environmental complaint follow-up and inspections

Increased reuse of information technology architecture and services to maximize the value of technology investments

Reducing the burden on DNREC staff while improving business processes, making it possible for staff to work with equal efficiency regardless of which program they work in or their office location The RFP is now open for proposals via the state's central Bid Solicitation Directory at

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Original Publication Date: July 8, 2016

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