The Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) confronted with the increased demand for permitting requests and the pressure to improve customer services. Processing paper forms for building permit applications and requests for inspections was consuming a lot of time.
The Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) and the government of Qatar were embarking on a full-fledge Smart Government initiative to revamp people, process, and technology.
MME was aware that such a core initiative will take some time to mature although it was the government’s top priority. However, MME wanted to automate one of the Smart or Electronic Services across the Government of Qatar that it manages. In the end, it was able to fully automate the Building Permit Request and inspection process using Intalio Case Management solution.
This plan was in line with Qatar National Vision 2030, which aims to place the country among the developed countries, based on the pillars of human, economic, social, and environmental development.
What did they need?
MME had to deal with a very complex process, involving many stakeholders and entities, with a large number of related documents, forms, and attachments. These issues faced made the tracking and follow-up of a specific request very challenging and almost impossible.
MME wanted to have all their drawings and documents related to release a building permit, scanned, and managed using an enterprise document management system. The purpose was to manage and control the on-growing number of drawings and files as well as the demand related to retrieving this information.
Automating the building permit process, including the Lusail sub-process, was the main goal of the MME to overcome the lack of knowledge in the process steps especially at the end of the request study and the license delivery.
MME was looking to overcome the difficulties in streamlining the cooperation of all parties to ensure the success of the operation. Information and procedures between stakeholders had to be clearer and more harmonious.
MME needed to facilitate the generation of accurate reports and statistics, at various levels.
The goal of this automation plan was to enhance the business and provide higher quality levels of performance so that it becomes a benchmark for all future Smart Services (or e-Services) strategies of the government of Qatar.
As a result, Intalio provided the MME with a unified system combining the platform, services, and automated workflow, powered by Intalio Case Management and SharePoint 2010. The solution helped different government entities collaborate in an electronic platform in order to be able to make the best technical and managerial decisions from the comfort of their offices while promising the public and citizens a transparent inspection and fast processing time.
More on Intalio Electronic Building Permit & Inspection System
The system aims to automate and streamline the building permit and inspection process. The purpose of automation is to reduce the permitting time, provide better and more efficient services for citizens, increase staff efficiency, and be able to track inspections.
The solution consists of a platform for G2G collaboration and workflow automation that contains: initiation of building permit request, submission of services request approval flow, cancellation of pre-approved requests to be restudied, and the approval and rejecting of requests.
Intalio Case Management automated the mentioned workflow via machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies. The project was achieved in three phases as follows:
Phase 1: Automating one of the smart or electronic services across the Government of Qatar that it manages. MME selected Intalio Case Management system to provide an online solution for stakeholders to submit requests, download related attachments and services, query the status of requests, and re-send requests to be amended at all stages of the process.
MME integrated Intalio solutions like Correspondence, Capture, Viewer, and Recognition solutions with its legacy systems, to be able to manage the growing number of drawings and files and the demand related to retrieving this information. Intalio provided decentralized and fast access to all documents and content, and backlog conversion for a backlog entry estimated of 2,892,500 pages. Analyzing existing manual processes became also possible while archiving soft and hard copy records.
Phase 2: Adding additional modules to the project’s first phase which allows the MME to enhance the consultant interface making it more intuitive by facilitating all the consultant’s tasks. The solution was upgraded to support multiple formats (design web and drawing formats).
In this phase, the existing website for a building permits was redesigned and a smart routing engine was added for escalation, systematic, and intelligent assignment. It was now also possible for the MME to generate reports based on key performance indicators (KPI).
Intalio system was integrated with external entities allowing communication with the MME building permit request system.
Extensions and connectors were added to the solution providing more features like digital signature, dashboards, and executive portal facilitating the execution of the tasks for the high-level senior people.
Data was migrated from the old building permit system to the new one and additional modules were also integrated with the existing system like online payment module, inspection module, meeting management module, maps changes synchronizer and building completion module.
One of the biggest processes of the MME Building Permit Request automation project was the Lusail sub-process. It helped the MME to deal with the very complicated and long process that involves many entities and parties, as well as a large number of related documents, forms, and attachments. Accordingly, it made the tracking and follow up of a specific request effortless and streamlined the cooperation of all parties to ensure the success of every process.
Phase 3: Upgrading the existing BPRA system by adding new features, enhancements, or rebuild any service if required. Intalio advanced the current system to be enabled on smartphones (Android, iOS) and used on the mobile application.
Intalio developed an inspection module that is related to the BPRA system only. MME can now conduct inspections for all types of construction, in addition to the inspection related to the granting of a certificate of completion of construction, for all services related to the inspection process (internal and external), with the registration of violations as well as results of settlements and handling various kinds of recommendations. The inspection can be performed without an internet connection.
After Intalio Solutions Implementation
After the successful implementation of the project, MME was able to fully automate the building permit request process using Intalio Case Management and additional integrated modules, after several failed attempts with other vendors, mainly due to the complexity of the process.
Intalio Case Management provided features and capabilities, that were not available in the previous tools, allowed MME to successfully put in place a fully automated and integrated solution that completely answers all their business and technical requirements.
MME is now able to receive and handle building permit requests online and automatically transfer those requests to engineers and department heads for approval. Search, retrieve, and access requests, documentation, and templates have never been easier and more secure. Errors related to manually processing those requests were reduced.
Business executives are now able to monitor their business services and processes, to correlate KPIs down to the actual business process themselves, and most importantly, to change business processes quickly or to take corrective action if the business environment changes.
Citizens can now start making online payments and inspectors can use tablets during the inspection process from the initiation of the request until reading the results of the inspection. Any external entity, as well as the municipality, can call for a meeting with any consultant office automatically, in order to clarify something related to his building permit request. Building completion flow and the issuing of the building completion certificate are now managed seamlessly.
Almost all entities of the MME are linked today. Intalio solutions allowed the different stakeholders at MME including the consultancy office, municipality coordinator, municipality engineer, municipality section heads, external entity coordinator, external entity engineer, external entity section heads, etc. to interact with each other efficiently using one common interface and communicate online, enhancing their collaboration.
Integrating Intalio new systems with the MME existing system was accomplished with a minimum cost and operational impact while maintaining the performance rates within an acceptable time frame.
MME was able to build an Intranet portal providing a unified automated platform for employees to automatically manage and access important data from a single point. It also provided MME managers with an adequate tool to enhance their decision making, using more accurate and up-to-date data.
The solution achieved maximum availability and minimum downtime in the event of any kind of unexpected behavior. Intalio built a reliable solution that can operate 24/7, and capable of fast recovery from any kind of system failure. The solution complies with the desired Quality Assurance level and industry-standard security requirements.
This has been one of the most valuable projects for the MME within the digital transformation plan designed by Intalio.
The Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) is considered one of the largest public service ministries that interact with the day-to-day affairs of the general public as it contributes through its departments, municipalities, and centers in the overall progress and comprehensive development undergoing by the State of Qatar.
The Ministry offers many services to the citizens and residents in the field of municipal services which include: maintenance of local roads, general public cleaning, pest control, food control in terms of its sale locations, its storage and exchange, monitoring of markets and retail outlets, issuing of building permits and advertisement permits, issuing of commercial licenses… Additionally, these services include management of public parks and promenades, plantation of trees, and promoting greenery all over the state of Qatar
For additional information, please visit: http://www.mme.gov.qa/