Traverse City Record-Eagle

Michigan

December 9, 2013

One-stop licensing system little used

LANSING (AP) — Michigan departments mostly aren’t using a one-stop online permitting system designed to help people who want to start, operate or expand a business, according to the state’s auditor general.

The state spent $20 million developing and maintaining the Michigan Business One Stop System, but it gets little use, an audit released last week says. The system was created from 2007-09 to give entities doing business with the state a single entry point and to streamline licensing.

Auditors said that state agencies have no strategic plan for the continued development and use of the one-stop system.

A lead agency told other departments to integrate with the new system. But agencies said their permitting processes were complex and it was easier for businesses to use existing procedures.

“Seven of the nine state departments that are responsible for registering businesses or issuing licenses and permits do not use MBOS to process most of their licenses, permits and registrations,” the auditors wrote. They said the licensing and agriculture departments “were developing new licensing and permitting systems and were not certain whether the new systems should integrate MBOS.”

The reason, the auditors said, was that the two departments “questioned whether integrating the new systems with MBOS would provide value to the departments or their customers.”

The auditors said a survey of businesses that use the Michigan Business One Stop System showed that their overall satisfaction with it was low.

The Department of Technology, Management and Budget, which has overall responsibility for information technology operations in state government “should direct the new effort to develop the strategic plan” for the one-stop system, the auditors said.

But they added that such a plan “will require substantial involvement and input from all departments involved with licensing, permitting and registration of businesses.”

The budget and technology department said in its preliminary response that it and other agencies “agree with the recommendation and will coordinate the development of a strategic plan to ensure the system meets the needs of the departments and their customers.”

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Online:

Audit: http://1.usa.gov/1hGzGp8

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