Software problems hold up building permits

Hawaii County has not been accepting new building permit applications since Monday due to a software snafu.

Public Works spokesman Barett Otani said staff are unable to access software used to process permit applications after a glitch and are relying on an older computer system to try to work through the backlog.

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It was unclear Friday when the software issue will be fixed.

A timeline might be known at the start of next week but, as for now, no new applications will be accepted using the backup system until Wednesday or later in the week, Otani said. He said staff need time to process applications that already have been submitted, though it’s unclear when pending permits will be approved.

Otani said the county’s information technology staff are meeting with the software vendor Monday.

“We really don’t know until we get with IT,” he said, regarding possible fixes.

As of Friday, only permits that were ready for approval at the time of the glitch had been issued. Nothing else had made it through the review process and the problem is countywide, Otani said.

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Approving a permit requires communication between multiple agencies and he said the county doesn’t have a system in place for doing that with only pen and paper. The last time a permit was issued without use of computers was 1996, Otani said.

Email Tom Callis at tcallis@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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