Reducing Red Tape

Objective 1

Trial and adoption by the municipality of a customer service strategy for business that includes elements of the business service plan developed for Nova Scotia by the Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness.
Actions Improvements Status

(1) Coordinate with NS Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness to develop a business navigator service for regulatory information and customer service

Resources: Province of Nova Scotia Business Navigator Program

• Business customers will be referred by the province to a municipal customer service representative to find information on rules, regulations and processes for setting up or operating a business in the Halifax region

• Municipality and province will work more collaboratively to deliver a mutually beneficial service by sharing resources

100% complete

Objective 2

Development and adoption by the municipality of guiding principles of regulation based on the Charter of Principles which has been adopted by the Premiers of the Maritime Provinces.
Actions Improvements Status

(2) Adopt Municipal Charter of Governing Principles for Regulation Administrative Order and a business impact assessment tool for its implementation

Resources: Regional Council report and Charter of Governing Principles for Regulation

• Municipality will adopt a business impact assessment tool to calculate costs and benefits of proposed regulation before making decisions

• Before regulation is developed/adopted, extra consideration will be given to the specific problem to be solved, policy options for addressing it, and whether regulation is the most appropriate tool

100% complete

Objective 3

Identify at least three areas of priority for change in municipal regulation to reduce regulatory burden, together with a plan for addressing each area, with a view to full implementation prior to the end of the Joint Project.
Actions Improvements Status

(3) Streamline sidewalk café application and communicate changes to businesses

Resources: Sidewalk Café Licensing (Brochure)

• Sidewalk café licence will be simplified with a shorter application process

• If plans remain the same and written consent is unchanged/ security deposit maintained, renewals are possible with updated insurance, application form and fee payment

• Applications can be received anytime for either annual or seasonal cafés

100% complete
(4) Provide information to businesses that will make it easier to understand sign regulation and navigate permit process

• Applicants will have access to a process chart, reference sheet, and FAQs to help clarify sign regulations in the downtown core

• As changes occur, more targeted communication will make it easier for businesses to comply

100% complete

(5) Develop performance reports to monitor service delivery for processing temporary sign licenses, permanent sign permits, and sidewalk café licenses

Resources: Application for Temporary Signage and Application for Permanent Signage and Sidewalk Café Licences

• Data will indicate when a service is performing as expected, or identify when standards are not being met. This will prompt additional review into why delays occur, identification of potential improvements, and implementation. 100% complete
(6) Update process maps and communicate current service targets to business customers for development applications • Service targets and expected timelines will be more realistic and reflective of current reality

90% complete

Target completion: Fall 2018

(7) Develop customer service training for inspectors and supervisors (piloted with Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency)

• Service from inspectors will be more responsive to needs of the customer

• Inspectors will be given better tools to carry out their unique role as regulatory enforcer, educator, and municipal ambassador

• Supervisors and inspectors will be encouraged to propose and implement process changes that reduce red tape for customers

40% complete

Target completion: Fall 2018

(8) Assess feasibility of annual licence for sign contractors who manufacture and install permanent, on premises signs • If adopted in future, an annual license would streamline application and fees processing for contractors who currently require multiple approvals for multiple sites 100% complete
(9) Seek amendment to Temporary Sign By-Law to streamline licence applications for bulk sign installations

• If adopted, sign contractors could bundle multiple signs under one annual application, fee and licence

• Reduce time filling out paperwork and submitting fees

60% complete

Target completion: Fall 2018

(10) Seek amendment to Noise By-law to enable municipal administration to approve noise exemption applications for recurring special events

• If adopted, annual events that are unchanged year-to-year could apply for noise exemptions through municipal administration without requiring a report to Regional Council for approval

• Processing time for noise exemption applications will be reduced from 4-6 weeks to 2-3 weeks

20% complete

Target completion: Fall 2018