William Strawn, Communications Officer
DBI UNDERTAKES ITS FIRST SERVICE COSTS-FEES’ REVIEW
SAN FRANCISCO – The Department of Building Inspection (DBI) today announced an eight-week cost of services’ study to capture an accurate analysis of fees charged in relationship to services rendered.
“This is a critical step in our ongoing efforts to provide better customer service, and to establish an accurate baseline from which we can measure our ability to deliver quality services at fair and reasonable costs,” said Isam Hasenin, DBI’s Director.
The Department has not had a review of its fee structure since 1992, when it was still a bureau within the Department of Public Works and when DBI established its first code fee schedule. A limited number of changes also were made in its fee tables in 2002.
The new costs-fees’ study comes just after the completion of DBI’s six-month Business Process Reengineering (BPR) review that produced nearly 200 recommendations to streamline the permit and inspection process, and as the Building Inspection Commission begins its review of the Department’s proposed 2008-2009 budget.
The study’s scope is to examine the full cost of providing services, including permit processing, plan review, inspection and administration. Based on the information gathered and subsequent analysis, the study will provide a sound foundation upon which DBI’s fee schedules may be updated.
“The bottom-line of this effort,” Hasenin added, “is to assess what level of service we are providing customers and whether this service level is being paid for from the fees we collect. As an enterprise, non-General Fund City department, we have a responsibility to recover the real costs of doing business and to ensure that fees are levied fairly at rates that pay for the Department’s operations.”
Data gathering and staff interviewing for the study began two weeks ago. The fast-track timeline calls for the study’s completion by the third week in March, when results will be presented to the Building Inspection Commission for any recommended action.
DBI oversees the effective, efficient, fair and safe enforcement of City building, housing, plumbing, electrical, mechanical, and disability access codes for San Francisco’s more than 150,000 buildings. Please visit www.sfgov.org/dbi for more detailed information.
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