Governor Shapiro Gets Stuff Done: Creating a One-Stop-Shop for Businesses, Launching CODE PA, and Reforming the Commonwealth’s Permitting and Licensing Processes
December 19, 2023
The Shapiro Administration has catalogued all Commonwealth-issued permits, licenses and certifications, designed and created PAyback to modernize permit application platforms and services, and made government work faster.
Harrisburg, PA – During his first year in office, Governor Josh Shapiro and his Administration worked to make state government move at the speed of business – creating the Office of Transformation and Opportunity (OTO) to spur economic growth and the Commonwealth Office of Digital Experience (CODE PA) to streamline how Pennsylvanians interact with the Commonwealth online.
OTO is a one-stop-shop for businesses looking to grow and has worked to reignite Pennsylvania’s economy while helping to reform the Commonwealth’s permitting and licensing application processes. CODE PA has helped to improve online services for Pennsylvanians and make them more accessible and effective for Pennsylvanians.
In coordination, OTO and CODE PA designed and created PAyback – a first-in-the-nation money-back guarantee system for Pennsylvania workers and businesses to check their eligibility for a refund of their permit, license, or certification application fee and request a refund if they believe they are eligible.
Read more about the Shapiro Administration’s work to make state government move at the speed of business below.
Spurring Economic Growth, Creating Jobs, and Fostering Innovation in Pennsylvania Through the OTO
- During his first month in office, Governor Shapiro signed an Executive Order establishing the OTO – a one-stop-shop for businesses looking to grow and will work to aggressively reignite Pennsylvania’s economy.
- The OTO has supported DCED to develop and lead an overall growth strategy and implemented economic development projects – coordinating with Commonwealth agencies, expediting permit reviews, and ensuring the speed of business review and approval of key incentive programs.
- The OTO has also served as a one-stop-shop to cut through red tape, bring state agencies together, support Pennsylvania businesses who want to grow, and encourage other businesses to Pennsylvania.
Transforming How Pennsylvanians Interact with the Commonwealth Online: Governor Shapiro Created CODE PA
- As part of the Governor’s commitment to make government more accessible and effective for Pennsylvanians, Governor Shapiro signed an Executive Order establishing CODE PA in April to improve online services for Pennsylvanians and streamline the way they interact with the Commonwealth online.
- CODE PA is working to make it easier for Pennsylvanians to connect with the vital resources provided by the Commonwealth – from renewing vehicle registration and paying taxes to visiting state parks and getting a license or permit to further their careers.
- Since its creation, CODE PA has built a seasoned leadership team to help reimagine Pennsylvania’s digital service delivery, worked with the Department of Environmental Protection to modernize the technology and business processes to make it easier for Pennsylvanians to engage in permitting processes, partnered with the OTO to build PAyback, and partnered with security and technology teams across the Commonwealth to give Pennsylvanians one set of login credentials for Commonwealth online services.
- CODE PA is continuing to work on future public products that will support Pennsylvanians and make it easier for them to find resources from the Commonwealth online.
Improving the Commonwealth’s Permitting, Licensing, and Certification Processes and Launching a First-in-the-Nation Online Money-Back Guarantee System
- Reforming the Commonwealth’s licensing, permitting, and certification processes was a top priority for Governor Shapiro upon taking office – and in his first month in office, Governor Shapiro signed an Executive Order directing all state agencies to standardize timeframes for how they issue permits, licenses, and certifications, and directed his Administration to create PAyback.
- Within 90 days of signing that Executive Order, every Commonwealth agency under the Governor’s jurisdiction catalogued all 2,400 total permits, licenses and certifications (PLCs) issued for the first time ever.
- After cataloguing the Commonwealth’s PLCs, Governor Shapiro, CODE PA, and the Office of Transformation and Opportunity (OTO) launched PAyback.pa.gov, a new online money-back guarantee system that allows residents, businesses, charities, and schools to check their eligibility for a refund of their permit, license, or certification application fee and request a refund if they believe they are eligible.
- In coordination with the OTO, the CODE PA team designed and created PAyback to modernize the Commonwealth’s application platforms and services to better serve Pennsylvanians and to publish the recommended application processing times while bringing increased accountability & transparency to Commonwealth PLC processes.
In addition to creating PAyback, the Shapiro Administration has been working to help businesses and workers from across Pennsylvania receive faster and more efficient services from the Commonwealth and has already made real progress. Since January, the Shapiro Administration has:
- Eliminated the backlog of Medicaid provider applications.
- Eliminated the birth certificate amendment backlog.
- Reduced the time it takes to process new in-state teacher certifications.
- Reduced the average phone wait time for Unemployment Compensation assistance.
- Reduced the average processing times for business and corporate filings from eight weeks to just 2 days.
- Reduced the time it takes to certify a small business from 15 days to 10 days.
# # #