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Our Work

Evaluating Efforts to Improve Permitting Processes

In connection with a series of good government initiatives among Michigan’s state agencies to eliminate bureaucratic barriers to job creation and economic growth, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has placed an increased focus on excellent customer service. In 2014, the agency retained Public Policy Associates, Inc. (PPA) to compare its environmental permitting processes with similar processes in other Midwest states and map and assess current process-improvement initiatives within MDEQ.

PPA researchers assessed existing programs in Detroit and across Michigan and developed a blueprint for expanding opportunities.

The PPA Team: Team members contributing to this project hold expertise in research methods and customer service performance.  Colleen Graber managed the project. 

Our Work: PPA reviewed administrative data, customer survey results, interviewed MDEQ permit customers, and compiled performance data from comparison states.

Results: PPA benchmarked MDEQ’s major permitting processes against other states in the Great Lakes region.  Our report summarized current and past process improvement initiatives, provided new process maps and benchmarking data, and shared the perspectives of MDEQ customers.  PPA identified key findings and offered recommendations related to process enhancements, staff development, and communications.

Benefits: The research results will assist MDEQ leadership to integrate process improvements into overall strategic efforts to advance the agency’s mission.  In the foreword to the report, MDEQ Director Dan Wyant said “the report’s recommendations provide valuable guidance on how to build on the positive momentum and continue to improve the reality and perception of MDEQ’s top-of-the-line customer services.”

Links: Doing One Better: MDEQ's Performance Improvement Efforts and Public Perception http://tinyurl.com/nuampea