BTOES Insights Official
July 12, 2021

Digital Transformation Workplace Live: Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs' Interview - Going Digital To Enhance The Customer Experience

Read this Interview with Ernest Chrappah, from Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, one of our Speakers, for the Digital Transformation Workplace Live.



BTOES Insights Question: Briefly describe your job role in your organization, and what your top priorities are right now?
Ernest Answer: 
I am Ernest Chrappah, the Washington DC Director for the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA). DCRA is responsible for regulating construction and business activity in the District of Columbia. The agency operates a consolidated permit intake center and reviews all construction documents to ensure compliance with building codes and zoning regulations. To protect consumers, DCRA issues business licenses, professional licenses, and special events permits registers corporations, and inspects weighing and measuring devices used for monetary profit. My Top priorities right now are to partner with property owners and builders in DC to help them move their projects forward safely, efficiently, and effectively. We will continue to protect consumers from predatory business practices and protect tenants from delinquent landlords. We will promote entrepreneurship in Washington DC to fuel the local economy. We will deliver clear communication, consistent, and timely information for customers and the broader Washington DC community. We are also always looking to see how can continue improving the customer experience by analyzing data and feedback to see how we can better meet our customers’ expectations.
BTOES Insights Question: What do you expect to be the most critical initiatives you (or your clients) need to focus on over the next 12 months?

Ernest Answer: 

There are several major initiatives that DCRA will be focusing on over the next 12 months. Here are a few:
We will launch the DCRA Contractor Rating System that will allow residents and businesses owners to pick a contractor for a particular project using a five point rating system. The DCRA Contractor Rating System includes every District-licensed building professional who has completed at least five projects within the last three years. The goal is to arm residents and businesses with the information they need to hire licensed building professionals with proven track records, thus reducing the likelihood of having to deal with a problematic contractor.
DCRA is also launching Permit Wizard, a new customer-friendly application that modernizes the way our customers start their residential building projects. Using a wizard-based approach, customers are guided through a series of questions. In response, the Permit Wizard will identify the permits needed for the entire project – customers no longer have to know permit types in advance. The Permit Wizard will advise the customer of the need for additional required documentation and issues involving their property without having to meet with DCRA staff over the phone or in person. Finally, the Permit Wizard inform them of anticipated inspections that will need to be scheduled.
As part of the agency’s efforts to improve access to DCRA records, DCRA will integrate Quick Response (QR) code technology in its public-facing product offerings— including permits and certificates. As a result, customers will be able to easily and quickly view DCRA records by scanning the QR code with a smart phone.

ErnestBTOES Insights Question: What do you see as the biggest trends affecting your organization (or your clients) over the next 12 to 18 months?

Ernest Answer:

The biggest trends affecting our agency over the next 12 to 18 months is performance-related data. The ability for the public to have a transparent look at the agency’s performance through the collection of data that will be presented daily on DCRA’s centralized dashboard is critical. We want to analyze customer interactions, service goals, and regulatory enforcement to make sure we are meeting or exceeding expectations on all performance metrics. As DCRA is a large government agency with a variety of functions, including issuing business licenses and permits and enforcing the city’s building and housing codes, allowing the public to easily view and track the agency’s performance data is paramount to transparency.


About the Speaker

more - 2021-07-12T204412.405Ernest Chrappah,
Director, Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, 
Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA).

My mission is to improve cities by striving with things perceived as impossible, applying innovation to solve complex problems, building high performing teams, and using a liberal dosage of data and tech driven strategies to improve services for consumers and businesses. 


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