Traditionally permitting processes have been very manual and paper intensive and vary widely across jurisdictions. Permitting requirements are usually provided by each jurisdiction through their web site, on paper or by phone, often with different points of contact for each specific requirement that needs to be met. Just obtaining accurate information about the specific permit requirements applicable to a project can be very time consuming for citizens and businesses. Going through the different steps needed to obtain a permit is often not only extremely time consuming, but error prone, expensive and paper intensive.

Open Permit uses the internet to make the permitting process transparent by employing modern technology to define a set of open standards that allow a jurisdiction to publish information and interact with citizens and businesses through an electronic medium. This means that requirements and process details can be provided by jurisdictions in a machine readable and automated form consumable by all applications with access to the internet, eliminating paper based workflows. An open standards model also allows for multiple jurisdictions to follow the same best practice approaches, minimizing inconsistencies when citizens go to obtain a permit from one jurisdiction to the next. Open Permit is also about making the technology itself open so that applications can be built in a way that are interoperable and can be used to streamline automate and better visualize permitting.

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