January 29, 2014– Mayor Michael A. Nutter, joined by City Officials, announced the launch of Project eCLIPSE (electronic Commercial Licensing, Inspection and Permit Services Enterprise), the new database system for the Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I), which will improve the customer service experience for businesses and residents. Project eCLIPSE will also increase the technical capabilities of L&I, including expanding online functions, improving data sharing between City departments and making the inspection process more efficient.
“Project eCLIPSE is will transform the way residents, business owners and developers do business with the City of Philadelphia. It will eliminate redundancies and the need for in-person paperwork and payments while emphasizing accessibility and convenience for citizens,” said Mayor Nutter. “Over time, Project eCLIPSE will improve public safety, government efficiency and delinquent tax collections, reduce vacant and blighted properties across the City and help attract new businesses and development by easing the application, permit and payment processes.”
With Project eCLIPSE, nearly every service that L&I provides will be offered online, including permitting, plan review, license application and renewal and payment options. Offering these services online will reduce wait times and create a virtually paperless system. Additionally, the expanded payment options, including paying by credit card, will reduce bounced checks. Previously, these L&I services were only offered in-person at the Municipal Services Building.
Project ECLIPSE will utilize “anytime, anywhere” mobile technology for field inspections. L&I inspectors will use mobile devices during inspections to enter inspection results into the data system in real time. The system will also allow field inspectors to review permits, plans and other relevant L&I data during the inspection process.
Carlton Williams, Commissioner of L&I said, “Project eCLIPSE is a key part of our strategy to make Philadelphia the national leader in building safety, while encouraging development and continuing to improve the customer experience. This new system provides the tools we need to perform our duties with the highest level of accountability and responsiveness.”
Additionally, the eCLIPSE system will enhance L&I’s current system by improving its ability to share and receive data. During the permit and licensing process, L&I will review all City tax information for the applicant to ensure the individual is current on all taxes. The system will also combine property ownership information from multiple City agencies, allowing L&I to be more effective in citing the owners of properties with code violations, particularly vacant and blighted buildings.
L&I will implement eCLIPSE in four phases, with an estimated completion date of late 2015. The vendor for the system, selected through an extensive RFP process in 2012, is Computronix. Computronix is a leader in e-government software and enterprise business solutions.