For Immediate Release - May 7 2007





Contact:  William Strawn
DBI Communications Manager, 415-558-6250



SAN FRANCISCO – Isam Hasenin, P.E., C.B.O. and Director of the Department of Building Inspection (DBI), today briefed the seven-member Building Inspection Commission responsible for policy oversight on initial results of his nearly eight-week assessment of DBI’s permit review and approval processes.


Hasenin also proposed an immediate “Action Plan” with his recommendations of steps to take to streamline the City’s permit review and approvals’ process.


“DBI has a highly professional, competent and technically savvy staff,” Hasenin said, “and many of the recommendations I’m proposing today will give the staff better tools, and a significantly improved organization that will enable us to deliver excellent services fairly and impartially to all our customers.  We’re going to be more customer-responsive, less bureaucratic, and measurably more efficient, transparent and effective,” he added.


Recommendations to the BIC included:

  • Establishing a remodeled Permit Center/Customer Services Center at 1640 Mission Street, taking advantage of its large floor plate to facilitate multiple-agency review services in a “one stop shop” environment.
  • Launching a new Customer Services’ initiative to improve customer-flow management; a “Service by Appointment” program to minimize wait-time; a Customers’ “Bill of Rights” to set clear and predictable expectations; and a “Guaranteed Second Opinion” program to resolve difficult code interpretation decisions.
  • Revamping the “Intake Process” to stipulate acceptability standards and increase the quality of accepted applications -- thus reducing the time required to review and approve permit applications.  This step also would reduce the number of customer plans stored at DBI, and improve staff working conditions.
  • Creating a single, comprehensive Permit Application Form – also to be available online -- designed to eliminate overlapping or duplicating information.
  • Consolidating all plan reviews and plan checking functions, with staff commitments to specific turn-around times, and reducing the time needed to make comments and return plans to customers for required revisions.

The Director also plans to launch an internal Business Process Reengineering (BPR) program, where an Executive Steering Committee comprised of internal and external decision-makers and public stakeholders will review in detail the “as is” review process. Recommended changes will then come before the Steering Committee for a final decision on changes to be implemented.


“It’s a new day at DBI, and over the next twelve months we’ll deliver to the citizens of San Francisco a more effective, efficient, transparent and responsive building inspection department,” Hasenin said.


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 for more detailed information.


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