To make it easier and faster to obtain construction permits, BCA partnered with 15 other government regulatory authorities (who regulate other aspects of the building construction such as fire safety, drainage & sewerage, public health safety, etc) to launch the one-stop online system in 2001. Our one-stop online system involving all the government regulatory authorities was the first of its kind in Singapore and probably first in the world at that time as internet technology was relatively new then. Over the years, we have continually improved the system. The latest enhancement in January 2010, which allows plan submissions using the new 3-Dimensional Building Information Modelling (3-D BIM) technology, is probably another 1st in the world.
Instead of manual submission, the online system is a one-stop shop for building professionals to make electronic submissions to BCA or any of the other 15 government regulatory authorities from anywhere at any time (24/7). The online system lists all the forms that must be filled out, auto-populates forms with project details and enables users to check their submission approval status online. A recent enhancement also allows the system to send an automated text messaging (through mobile phone) to the construction professional immediately after the building plan or permit is approved.
Furthermore, instead of the multiple permits system, BCA launched the one-permit system to cut red tape by reducing the number of submission procedures. This fast-tracking of the permit application process eliminate the need for multiple permit applications for subsequent stages of works in a project.
BCA also enhanced its back-end system to save time, reduce handling and reduce paper storage.
The one-stop online system is a pro-business initiative that has transformed a time-consuming and complex submission process into one which is faster, cheaper, paperless, easily accessible and highly efficient.
To date, the building industry has made over 2.85 million online submissions. This has enabled the building industry to save more than SGD$30 million in printing and dispatch costs as well as a two-thirds reduction in the time taken to obtain construction permits (equivalent to annual savings of 2700 man-hours or SGD$86,000 for BCA). This fast-tracking of construction permits has resulted in faster completion of key public infrastructures and businesses (eg. roads, housing, schools, hospitals, private commercial buildings) as it allows construction projects to progress smoothly without the need to apply for multiple permits.
Internationally, the one-stop online system, one-permit system and the fast-tracking of approvals for construction permits have contributed to Singapore being ranked the fastest in the world to issue construction permits and the world’s most business-friendly economy in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report from 2010 to 2012. BCA was also awarded with the Autodesk BIM Recognition Award for being the world’s first government body to pilot 3-D BIM online submission in 2009.
Nationally, the one-stop online system has been recognised as a pro-business initiative that has contributed to BCA being ranked 4th (across 26 government agencies) in the annual Public Sector’s Pro-Enterprise Ranking (PER) survey from 2010 to 2011.