Fla. preps massive 'one-stop shop'
- By Brian Robinson
- May 16, 2001
In what seems to be the largest state implementation of an online "one-stop
shop," Florida has developed a Web portal that eventually will enable more
than 900,000 professionals and businesses to register and pay for licenses
and permits over the Internet.
Its formal opening is scheduled for August.
The portal is the most visible part of a complete re-engineering of
Florida's Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) that
will create the same kinds of customer relationship management practices
that are becoming the norm in service-oriented companies.
The DBPR has more than 250 phone numbers for people to call to ask about
licenses and permits, according to Kim Binkley-Seyer, who heads the agency.
There are also 78 different "old and outmoded" software systems that process
applications. That leads to a confusing and frustrating time for citizens
and government employees, she said.
"With the online system, we expect that most people will never have
to contact the department to apply for and receive their licenses and permits,"
she said. "If they do, there will be a single number to call, and the goal
is for that call to be forwarded no more than twice before people get their
The system also provides mobile tools for the large numbers of the department's
1,800 employees who are in the field. With the new system, those inspectors
will not have to drive all the way back to the office to log their reports,
The Florida system could act as a template for states that want to implement
similar solutions, said Paul Shackelford, a partner with Accenture, the
consulting company that provided the DBPR system. The Web-based front end
and reporting features are the only customized parts of the system, he said,
while the extensive back-end functions tend to be the same for all agencies.
The DBPR system is expected to take two years to roll out agencywide,
after the introduction in the fall of the first real estate application.
Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore.
Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.