Building Planning And Inspections Follow . - El Paso

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Building Planning and InspectionsFollow – Up Audit ReportA2018-11Issued by theInternal Audit OfficeJuly 25, 2018

City of El PasoInternal Audit OfficeBuilding Planning and Inspections Follow – Up Audit A2018-11EXECUTIVE SUMMARYThe Internal Audit Office conducted a Follow-Up Audit of the Building Planning and Inspections AuditReport dated July 21, 2015. The original Audit Report contained four findings. Upon completion of theaudit fieldwork, we have determined the status of the recommendation for each audit finding as outlined inthe table below:During our audit, we determined the four (4) findings were associated to the City Development Department’sStrategic Business Plan which is based on the “Management for Results” (MFR) strategies. The City of ElPaso is no longer using the MFR strategies. The City of El Paso is currently using the Lean Six Sigmastrategies. Due to changes in procedures all findings were classified as “Not Applicable.”FindingNo.1234Description of FindingsThe Building Planning and Inspections Department is not meeting theirgoal of - 75% of residential and commercial plans reviewed are ready toissue a permit upon first review.The Building Planning and Inspections Department does not havepolicies and procedures as to what information Plan Reviewers shouldrecord in Accela and there is no quality review process in place.The Building Planning and Inspections Department is not meeting theirgoal of - 98% of residential and commercial inspections completedwithin 24 hours of request.The Building Planning and Inspections Department’s Metrics Reportdoes not state that the 22 day Commercial and 8 day Residential reviewslisted pertain to the first review only.StatusNot ApplicableNot ApplicableNot ApplicableNote ApplicableFor a detailed explanation of the findings and current observations please refer to the appropriate findingcontained in the body of this Audit Report.1

City of El PasoInternal Audit OfficeBuilding Planning and Inspections Follow – Up Audit A2018-11BACKGROUNDThe Planning and Inspections Department is committed to helping the City of El Paso by efficiently andeffectively providing direct services to El Paso’s businesses, residents, and the construction community.The City’s Planning and Inspections Department provides building plan reviews/approvals and inspectionson trades (mechanical, electrical, foundation etc.) type work. Their goal is to provide business friendlypermitting, inspections and licensing process, to grow businesses, create jobs and establish and maintain ahealthy business environment in El Paso.As of July 25, 2018, the Planning and Inspections Department has processed: 1,574 New Residential cases, 593 Tenant Improvement cases, and 160 New Commercial cases.AUDIT OBJECTIVESThe audit objective was to ensure that corrective action was taken by management to address therecommendations detailed in the original Audit Report dated July 21, 2015.AUDIT SCOPEThe audit period covered the operations of Fiscal Year 2017.AUDIT METHODOLOGYTo achieve our audit objectives we: Conducted interviews with the Planning and Inspections Department management and staff. Verified if the Planning and Inspections Department has:o Created an incentive policy to decrease review time,o Documented policies and procedures identifying the data Plan Reviewers are required torecord in Accela,o Implemented a quality review process to limit the likelihood of incomplete data entry,o Changed the performance criteria in the Planning and Inspections Metrics Report to calendardays if Inspectors are not required to record clock times in Accela,o Established criteria and specifics for the data in the Planning and Inspections Metrics Reportso readers are not misled, ando Implemented a quality review process regarding data entered in Accela to eliminate theextreme variances. Tested a sample of New Commercial, Tenant Improvement and New Residential Plan Reviews andtheir inspections to determine if they were being conducted in a timely manner.We conducted this audit in accordance with Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards and theInternational Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing. Those standards require that weplan and perform the audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for ourfindings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that the evidence obtained provides areasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives.2

City of El PasoInternal Audit OfficeBuilding Planning and Inspections Follow – Up Audit A2018-11ORIGINAL FINDINGS, ORIGINAL RECOMMENDATIONS, MANAGEMENT’S RESPONSE TOORIGINAL FINDINGS, CURRENT OBSERVATION, AND STATUSBased on the results of follow-up test work, each original finding recommendation will be designated withone of the following four status categories:ImplementedIn ProgressNot ApplicableNot ImplementedThe finding has been addressed by implementing the original corrective action oran alternative corrective action.The corrective action has been initiated but is not complete.The recommendation is no longer applicable due to changes in procedures orchanges in technology.The recommendation was ignored, there were changes in staffing levels, ormanagement has decided to assume the risk.Finding: 1Commercial and Residential Plan ReviewsThe performance criteria documented in the City’s Development Department Strategic Business Plandated March 28, 2013 states 75% of residential and commercial plans reviewed are ready to issue uponfirst review.The Planning and Inspections Department is not meeting their goal of 75% of residential and commercialplans reviewed are ready to issue upon first review.Types of cases reviewedin AccelaNew Commercial andTenant ImprovementNew ResidentialTotal15Number of cases “Readyto Issue” after firstreview.4Percentage of total cases“Ready to Issue” after firstreview26.67%153081253.33%40.00%Number of casesReviewed in AccelaRecommendation:Building Planning and Inspections Department should consider developing an incentive policy andprovide a means to educate customers on how to get their plans reviewed more efficiently.Management’s ResponseIn fiscal year 2014 it was determined that 12 major builders obtained over 80% of the residentialpermits. Major builders were identified as having consistently pulled more than 50 permits per year. Infiscal year 2015 the strategic plan was revised to apply to major home builders only. Having verylimited contact with builders requesting only a few permits per year provided little opportunity to workwith them to improve upon their skills and/or plan submissions. In March of 2015 the department begana six sigma Value Stream Transformation Plan for new commercial projects and commercial projectswere removed from the previous 2013 strategic business plan altogether. An assessment of residentialpermits for fiscal year 2015 determined that again, twelve (12) major builders pulled a total of 1,756 or75.6% of the 2,321 total residential permits.A review of all residential plans submitted in fiscal year 2015 yields the following:A total of 121 individual residential home builders pulled 2,321 permits throughout the fiscal year49 builders (40%) obtained only 1 permit3

City of El PasoInternal Audit OfficeBuilding Planning and Inspections Follow – Up Audit A2018-1153 builders (44%) obtained 15 or fewer permits – 302 permits total7 builders (5%) obtained 16 to 49 permits - 214 permits total12 builders (10%) obtained over 50 permits per year - 1,756 permits totalThe following is being implemented for residential volume builders: Staff is formally revising the strategic business plan to apply percentage to major builders only(those pulling 50 or more permits per year) Staff is requesting the development of master plans by all major volume builders for their mostcommonly constructed plans. Currently working on updating the Department’s website to provide better information tocustomers of required documents on website and to all applicant/builders Attending Builders Association meetings to disseminate submittal requirement information Will provide a listing of common failures/errors on website and to all applicants/buildersThe following two require council review and approval Provide incentives for passing first reviews (diminished permit fees) Provide penalties for failing first reviews (increased permit fees to cover additional review time)Value Stream Transformation Plan – Commercial ProjectsA review of commercial plans since June of 2015 (implementation of new procedures) yields thefollowing information: A total of 47 commercial projects have been submitted 39 of the plans were reviewed within three days and routed to applicants for corrections (nonepassed first review) The remaining 8 plans were reviewed within four days and routed for corrections (none passedfirst review) On average, first reviews have been conducted in 3.12 days, applicants have taken 29 days to resubmit plans and only a handful have been issued permits (too few to obtain a relevant average).Management Response – Commercial Projects Staff have been making weekly calls to applicants requesting corrections in efforts to expeditere-submittals, review and permit issuance Working on a requirement for a pre-submission conference for preliminary review of plans priorto first submission Working on implementing auto-IT reminders to applicants to expedite re-submissions and permitissuanceThe following require council review and approval Provide incentives such as plan review fee reductions Provide for additional fees per individual plan reviewResponsible PartyVictor Morrison-VegaImplementation DateJanuary 1, 20164

City of El PasoInternal Audit OfficeBuilding Planning and Inspections Follow – Up Audit A2018-11Current Observation During our audit, we determined the City Development Strategic Business Plan dated March 28,2013 was based on the “Management for Results” (MFR) strategies. The City of El Paso is nolonger using these strategies. The City of El Paso is currently using the Lean Six Sigma strategies. Due to changes in procedures this finding was classified as “Not Applicable.” We recommend that the Planning and Inspections Department document their new policies andprocedures for commercial and residential plan reviews.StatusNot ApplicableFinding: 2Workflow Events and Data EntryPlanning and Inspections performance metrics are derived from the City’s Accela Database. Forreliable performance information and tracking purposes accurate data input is required.Building Planning and Inspections Department does not have: Policies and procedures on required information Plan Reviewers should record in Accela. A quality review process in place regarding the information entered in Accela.Plan Reviewers are not accurately entering “Workflow” events in Accela.Type of casesreviewedNew Commercial andTenant ImprovementNew ResidentialTotalNumber of casesreviewed inAccela15Number of cases where eventdata such as “Out forCorrections” was not entered10Percentage of Total Caseswhere certain event datawas not entered66.67%153051533.33%50.00%Plan Reviewers are not populating data fields in Accela.Type of casesreviewedStartDate/TimeNewCommercialand Data FieldsHours Billable OvertimeSpent Y/NY/NTimeTrackingStartDatePercentage of time data fields are left letionDate Y/NInPossessionTime(hrs.) Y/N100%100%100%100%Recommendation:The Building Planning and Inspections Department should document policies and procedures identifyingthe data Plan Reviewers are required to record into Accela. They should also initiate a quality reviewprocess limiting the likelihood of incomplete data entry.5

City of El PasoInternal Audit OfficeBuilding Planning and Inspections Follow – Up Audit A2018-11Management’s ResponseStaff is currently working with IT staff to develop the following data systems procedures and policies; Automate input on appropriate items such as start/finish plan review/inspection time as well asdate/time and calculations Implementing controls in data system to prevent further processing when items are missed oromitted Implemented daily reporting of cases missing entries for supervisory review Implementing data system changes to provide for appropriate data calculations of actual workdays (sans weekends/Fridays, Holidays as appropriate) Updating existing policies and procedures identifying the data plan reviewers are required torecord in Accela Implementing monthly audit reports for staff follow-upResponsible PartyVictor Morrison-VegaImplementation DateMarch 2016 – in conjunction with the Plan Review Lean Six Sigma program completionCurrent Observation During our audit, we determined the City Development Strategic Business Plan dated March 28,2013 was based on the “Management for Results” (MFR) strategies. The City of El Paso is nolonger using these strategies. The City of El Paso is currently using the Lean Six Sigma strategies. Due to changes in procedures this finding was classified as “Not Applicable.” We recommend that the Planning and Inspections Department document their new policies andprocedures on the required information Plan Reviewers should record in Accela.StatusNot Applicable6

City of El PasoInternal Audit OfficeBuilding Planning and Inspections Follow – Up Audit A2018-11Finding: 3Inspections(Per the City Development Department Strategic Business Plan dated March 28, 2013, page 6, #5.)98% of residential and commercial inspections completed within 24 hours of request.A) The Planning and Inspections Department is not meeting their goal of 98% of residential and commercialinspections completed within 24 hours of request.B) Inspectors do not record hourly information in Accela and as a result the 24 hour measurement is notaccurate. The actual measurement is 1 calendar day.Types of casesreviewed in AccelaNew Commercialand TenantImprovementNew ResidentialTotal# ofConstructionCases ReviewedNumber ofInspectionsReviewed inAccela1585Number of Inspectionscompleted within 1calendar day ofrequested date831530234319226309Percentage of totalinspections completedwithin 1 calendar dayof request date97.65%96.58%96.87% Of the 30 construction cases reviewed in Accela there were 4 cases (13.4%) that had an inspectionscheduled and there is no indication in Accela that they were ever completed.Recommendation:The Building Planning and Inspections Department should change the performance criteria in the Planningand Inspections Metrics Report to calendar days if Inspectors are not required to record clock times inAccela.Management’s ResponseStaff is working on the following: Providing greater system accuracy by accounting for weekend and Holidays Identifying daily rather than 24 hour periods within the data system (revising plan to state within oneday rather than 24 hours) On August 24th, the Supervisors began reviewing the previous day’s inspection report to insure allscheduled inspections have been properly resulted or cancelled. Weekly audit reports for Supervisor Inspection staff have been implementedResponsible PartyVictor Morrison-VegaImplementation DateNov 20157

City of El PasoInternal Audit OfficeBuilding Planning and Inspections Follow – Up Audit A2018-11Current Observation During our audit, we determined the City Development Strategic Business Plan dated March 28, 2013was based on the “Management for Results” (MFR) strategies. The City of El Paso is no longer usingthese strategies. The City of El Paso is currently using the Lean Six Sigma strategies. Due to changes in procedures this finding was classified as “Not Applicable.” We recommend that the Planning and Inspections Department document their new policies andprocedures for establishing criteria on the completion of inspections.StatusNot ApplicableFinding: 4Workflow Metrics (Per the City Development Department Strategic Business Plan dated March 28, 2013 page 6, #3)90% of commercial plans reviewed within 15 business days by 2015. (Per the City Development Department Strategic Business Plan dated March 28, 2013 page 6, #1)90% of residential plans reviewed within 5 business days. Building Planning and Inspections adjusted the criteria listed in their Planning and InspectionsMetrics Report from 15 and 5 business days to 22 and 8 calendar days respectively due to thedifficulty of calculating around weekends and holidays.The Building Planning and Inspections Department’s Metrics Report leads readers to assume that PlanReviews will be completed and a permit issued within 22 days for new Commercial construction and 8 daysfor new Residential construction. The Metrics Report does not state that the 22 and 8 day plan review times are for the first review only.The results of a review of 15 Commercial and Tenant Improvement Cases and 15 Residential Cases arelisted below:New Commercial Construction and Tenant ImprovementDays from application date toNumber of times BP&Ipermit issuance datereviewed plans1,121 days5Highest of 15 Cases3 days1Lowest of 15 Cases110.27 days2.33Average of the 15 CasesNew Residential Construction174 days3Highest of 15 Cases1 day1Lowest of 15 Cases21.13 days1.73Average of the 15 CasesDays in City ReviewProcess83 days1 day16.87 days6 days1 day2.87 daysRecommendation:Building Planning and Inspections should: Establish the criteria and specifics for the data in the Planning and Inspections Metrics Report soreaders are not misled. Implement a quality review process regarding data entered in Accela to eliminate the extremevariances.8

City of El PasoInternal Audit OfficeBuilding Planning and Inspections Follow – Up Audit A2018-11Management’s ResponseStaff has determined that the case with the longest time between the first review and permit issuance(1,121 days) was a cloned permit from BCNN11-00374. On October 28, 2014 the second phase of theproject was resubmitted and BCNN14-00245 was cloned from BCNN11-00374 which showed theprevious and earlier creation date of October 19, 2011. First review was completed on November 3, 2014and permits were issued on November 12, 2014.Staff is currently working on the following: Revising Planning and Inspections Metrics Report to state that the 22 and 8 day plan reviewtimes have been revised and are for the first review of commercial projects only. Creating and distributing a policy that details the required entries for paper submittals at the timethe permit is set on HFC, to ensure that appropriate workflow tasks are entered in Accela Identifying daily rather than 24 hour periods within the data system (revising plan to state withinone day rather than 24 hours) On August 24th, the Supervisors began reviewing the previous day’s inspection report to insureall scheduled inspections have been properly resulted or cancelled. Developed weekly audit reports for Supervisor Inspection staff have been implementedResponsible PartyVictor Morrison-VegaImplementation DateDec 2015- in conjunction with IT Accela revisionsCurrent Observation During our audit, we determined the City Development Strategic Business Plan dated March 28, 2013was based on the “Management for Results” (MFR) strategies. The City of El Paso is no longer usingthese strategies. The City of El Paso is currently using the Lean Six Sigma strategies. Due to changes in procedures this finding was classified as “Not Applicable.” We recommend that the Planning and Inspections Department document their new policies andprocedures establishing criteria on plan review completion.StatusNot Applicable9

City of El PasoInternal Audit OfficeBuilding Planning and Inspections Follow – Up Audit A2018-11INHERENT LIMITATIONSBecause of the inherent limitations of internal controls, errors or irregularities may occur and not bedetected. Also, projections of any evaluation of the internal control structure to future periods beyond theAudit Report date are subject to the risk that procedures may become inadequate due to changes inconditions, management override of internal controls, or that the degree of compliance with the proceduresmay deteriorate. This was a limited scope audit which only reviewed the areas stated in the Audit Objectivesduring the Audit Scope period. No representations of assurance are made to other areas or periods notcovered by this audit.CONCLUSIONWe have concluded our audit work on the objectives of the Building Planning and Inspections Follow – UpAudit. The audit evidence used in the analysis is sufficient and appropriate for addressing the objectives andsupporting the observations and conclusion. In accordance with Generally Accepted Government AuditingStandards we are required to conclude on whether the Planning and Inspections Department met theobjectives of this audit. The following is our conclusion.During our audit, we determined the four (4) findings were associated to the City Development Department’sStrategic Business Plan which is based on the “Management for Results” (MFR) strategies. The City of ElPaso is no longer using the MFR strategies. The City of El Paso is currently using the Lean Six Sigmastrategies. Due to changes in procedures, the Audit objectives tested in this is Follow – Up Audit are nolonger applicable.We wish to thank the Planning and Inspections Department and staff for their assistance and numerouscourtesies extended during the completion of this audit.Signature on FileEdmundo S. Calderón, CIA, CGAP, CRMA, MBAChief Internal AuditorSignature on FileLyz Parra, MBA, CGAPAuditor IISignature on FileDaryl Olson, CIA, CGAPAuditor IIIDistribution:Financial Oversight and Audit CommitteeTomas Gonzalez, City ManagerCary S. Westin – Deputy City Manager of Economic Development & Tourism10

Jul 25, 2018 · City of El Paso Internal Audit Office Building Planning and Inspections Follow – Up Audit A2018-11 4 53 builders (44%) obtained 15 or fewer permits – 302 permits total 7 builders (5%) obtained 16 to 49 permits - 214 permits total 12 builders (10%) obtained over 50 permits per year -

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