July 28, 2011 By Brian Heaton
In about a year, bets won’t be the only thing done quickly on the Las Vegas Strip.
Clark County, Nev., is in the midst of a pilot project that will streamline the business license process for the area’s contractors and enable data sharing between the county and some of its cities.
The county, joined by the cities of North Las Vegas, Henderson and Boulder City, will either create a central database repository that will store contractor information that’s accessible by each local government, or they’ll integrate their various disparate individual systems.
Laura Fucci, CIO of Clark County, said the goal is for a contractor to walk into Clark County offices, register for a business license and then have the ability to select other jurisdictions at the same time for additional licensure. Currently contractors have to trek to each city they want to work in to repeat the licensing process.
When asked whether the pilot project would also include the ability for contractors to apply online, Jacqueline Holloway, director of Clark County’s Department of Business licensing, said no, calling it a long-term goal if the project goes to a second phase.
Fucci added that the county and cities are working with a business systems analyst to define what functions and requirements are needed by each municipality to develop a multijurisdictional licensing system. The group is just about complete and once finished, Fucci said a technical team will meet to discuss how to make all the data accessible.
“We are trying to design a system that can facilitate the sharing of that data by that date and yet ensure that the system is scalable, because we expect this to be a first set of information that will be shared,” Fucci said, referring to other business licenses that may receive a similar shared treatment in the future.
Holloway said the idea for the pilot project was hatched last year. She explained that elected officials in the county and interested community members discussed streamlining the business license process, which spurred a yearlong assessment on how to make the project a reality.
With the assessment finished, the Nevada Legislature signed SB 110 into law on June 17, which authorizes the changes to contractor business licensing and sets a June 2012 deadline for the project, according to county officials.
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All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.