Fremont City
California

Staff Report
3809

PURCHASE ELECTRONIC PLAN CHECK CLOUD-BASED SYSTEM - Authorize the City Manager, or Designee, to Enter into Agreements and Issue Purchase Orders to ePlanSoft, Inc. to Purchase ePlanSoft Electronic Plan Check Cloud-Based System and Transfer $150,976 from the Development Cost Center Technology and System Improvement Reserve (Fund 392) to CIP Project 501PWC8746, Permitting and Land Use System

Information

Department:Information Technology ServicesSponsors:
Category:Agreements and Contracts

Attachments

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Item Discussion

Executive Summary: In June 2015, City Council authorized the purchase of the Accela land management (permitting system) that included the purchase of the on-premise e-PlanSoft ePlanCheck electronic plan checking software.  The Accela permit system went into production and staff started using the new permit system in July 2017.  Electronic plan checking has not yet been implemented by the City because staff needed time to become efficient with the new Accela permit system.  Staff is now positioned to implement electronic plan checking services. Since the original purchase of the e-PlanCheck software, e-PlanSoft has moved to a cloud-based software system called eplansoft REVIEW (EPR).  Moving to a cloud-based software system is consistent with the City’s IT Strategic Plan.  As a result, the City needs to execute a new Master Agreement directly with e-PlanSoft for the “subscription (or software) as a service” (SaaS) system.   In addition, the City needs to execute a Technology Service Agreement for the one-time implementation services of the e-PlanSoft electronic plan checking software.   Implementation of electronic plan checking will take four to five months and is expected to be in production by the end of the calendar year.

 

Staff recommends that the City Council authorize the City Manager, or designee, to enter into a three-year Master Agreement for the “subscription (or software) as a service” system with ePlanSoft, Inc. in the total amount of $352,496 payable in annual payments; to enter into a Technology Service Agreement for the one-time implementation services with e-PlanSoft, Inc. in the amount of $84,200; and to transfer $150,976 for the one-time implementation services and first year of subscription services for use of the e-PlanSoft system from the Development Cost Center Technology and System Improvement Reserve (Fund 392) to CIP Project 501PWC8746, Permitting and Land Use System.

Body

BACKGROUND: The City purchased the e-PlanSoft electronic plan checking software (known as “e-PlanCheck”) in June 2015 as part of the Accela land management (permitting) project. At that time, e-PlanCheck was an on-premise platform that was installed on City servers and maintained by the Information Technology Services (ITS) Department staff.  The e-PlanCheck system has not yet been implemented because staff needed time to become comfortable and efficient with use of the Accela permit system. It is now time to implement electronic plan checking.

 

Since the original purchase of the on-premise e-PlanCheck software, e-PlanSoft has moved to a “subscription (or software) as a service” (SaaS) platform for its software.  e-PlanSoft will provide the licenses for City staff to use and access the software through its cloud-based system that is hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS).  AWS provides secure facilities that meet compliance requirements set forth in SOC 2 and include protections against unauthorized access and monitoring network performance and redundancy for system availability 99.5% of the time.

 

DISCUSSION/ANALYSIS: The City currently provides very limited electronic plan services through the use of Adobe Pro software. Adobe Pro is an off-the-shelf PDF mark-up software that only allows reviewers to access one plan page at a time with mark-up tools that are cumbersome.  

 

Moving from paper to electronic plan checking has been a City goal for several years for a number of reasons including the following:

 

·         The extensive volume of paper plan sets required in the permitting review process is a wasteful use of limited natural resources required to create the paper.

·         All of the paper plan sets eventually end up as recycled waste.

·         Changes in building codes and in the types of buildings being constructed in Fremont have resulted in construction plans that are much more involved and complicated, making paper plan sets incredibly large, unruly to manage, and extremely heavy to lift (some exceeding 100 pounds).

·         There is inadequate space/area in the Development Services Center to store all of the paper plans that are in process or under construction.

·         Paper plans are only accessible to the public if persons visit the Permit Center.

·         Processing plan checks electronically is an efficient and simple means to transfer documents between applicants to the City staff, extensively reducing costs and clutter.

·         Issuing permits with electronic plans immediately allows staff to transfer the plans into the City’s document archive system.

 

Electronic plans will create greater transparency into the permit process for the public, eliminating the need to come to the Permit Center to review proposed projects/permits by providing the documents on-line (via Accela Citizen Access, the on-line permit system portal). 

 

eplansoft REVIEW (EPR) Cloud-Based System

e-PlanSoft changed its on-premise e-PlanCheck software to a cloud-based system called eplansoft REVIEW (EPR).  EPR is hosted on servers in the Amazon Web Services cloud that comply with SOC 2 security requirements.  Moving to cloud-based systems is consistent with the City’s technology guiding principles in the IT Strategic Plan that state “a hybrid of cloud computing, both public and private, and on-premise solutions will be implemented, wherever available and practical”.  In this case, e-PlanSoft has migrated its electronic plan check solution to a cloud-based system that meets the City’s security requirements.

 

Agreements

To implement electronic plan checking, two agreements are required: a Technology Service Agreement for the one-time services associated with implementation of the system and a three-year Master Agreement for the ongoing subscription and support services of the cloud-based EPR system.

 

FISCAL IMPACT: The one-time implementation and first year software subscription and support costs will be funded from the Development Cost Center Technology and System Improvement Reserve. This reserve is a combination of Planning (Fund 391), Building (Fund 392), and Engineering (Fund 393) development permit monies. Currently, the reserve is funded with $4 million, which is the amount established for this reserve in the budget resolution. General Fund monies are not a part of this reserve. The proposed action will be funded specifically from Fund 392 (Building) monies within the reserve.

 

In the three-year Master Agreement for the ongoing software subscription and support services of the system, ePlanSoft will be crediting the City the amount of monies paid for the purchase of the initial on-premise electronic plan checking licenses and for the first three years of maintenance in an amount of $118,800. This credit will be split over the first two years of the Master Agreement in an amount of $59,400 per year. In addition, there is a one-time credit for the maintenance paid on the on-premise electronic plan checking software for the current year (through March 30, 2020).  With these credits, the first year of the SaaS costs are $66,776.00.  The total not-to-exceed amount for the one-time implementation services is $84,200 for a total funding request of $150,976. Transferring the amount of $150,976 from the Development Cost Center Technology and System Improvement Reserve (Fund 392) will not affect the Development Cost Center Contingency Reserve, which complies with Council policy to remain at or above 25% of the Development Cost Center operating budgets. In FY 2018/19, the contingency reserve was fully funded at $7,908,083.

 

Funding for the annual SaaS costs in future years will be requested through the Information Technology Services Department operating budget as part of the City’s annual budget process. The annual costs will then be charged to the various Development Services Center users through the ITS cost allocation.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW:  The proposed action is not a project under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) as defined in CEQA Guideline Section 15378(b)(5).

Document Comments

RECOMMENDATIONS:

1.              Authorize the City Manager, or designee, to enter into a three-year Master Agreement with ePlanSoft, Inc., in the total amount of $352,496 payable in three annual payments:  $66,776 for the first year of annual SaaS costs, $88,160 for the second year of costs, and $147,560 for the third year of costs; and $50,000 for additional user licenses, hosting, and data storage costs over the three-year period.

2.              Authorize the City Manager, or designee, to issue a purchase order to e-PlanSoft, Inc., in the amount of $66,776 for the first year of annual SaaS costs and to issue purchase orders for years 2 and 3 of the Master Agreement in the respective fiscal years.

3.              Authorize the City Manager, or designee, to enter into a Technology Service Agreement and issue a purchase order with e-PlanSoft, Inc., in the amount of $84,200 for one-time costs related to the eplansoft REVIEW implementation.

4.              Authorize the City Manager, or designee, to approve the expenditure of an additional not-to-exceed amount of $25,000 per year for purchase of licenses for additional users and additional data storage, subject to adoption of applicable operating budget in future years.

5.              Authorize the City Manager, or designee, to execute any implementing documents and take any implementing actions as necessary.

6.              Transfer and appropriate $150,976 from the Development Cost Center Technology and System Improvement Reserve to Capital Improvement Program project 501PWC8746, Permitting and Land Use System, to cover one-time implementation costs and the first year of annual SaaS costs.