By: Brian Sullivan
As part of the Mayor’s Building One City initiative, the NYC DOB is transitioning to an electronic filing system known as DOB NOW. The first phase of this transition, known as DOB NOW: Safety, a new eFiling system for compliance filings including FISP (formerly Local Law 11/98) will begin on September 12, 2016. As a result, paper submission of FISP reports will not be accepted after August 31, 2016. The following three phases will be DOB NOW: Inspections, Build and Licensing.
This new system, while no doubt will have a learning curve at first like most new initiatives, promises to be a much more efficient and effective way to capture, research and utilize the data needed by Building Owners, Owners Representatives, Design Professionals, as well as city agencies. Some of the immediate benefits of the first phase will be online access to 6th and 7th cycle reports, real-time status updates of report filings, registration and qualification of QEWI’s (Qualified Exterior Wall Inspectors) and improved communication between the DOB and all involved. Additionally, QEWI’s, Owners and Owners Representatives will now have a dashboard on their login page that will allow them to quickly see what is going on with all buildings that they are currently associated with.
Some important actions that are required prior to submitting a FISP report are noted below:
- FISP reports will now be created within the DOB NOW system, not in the typical word processing program.
- QEWI’s must register with the eFiling system and be approved by the DOB FISP team.
- All Building Owners and Owners Representatives must register to access the system. Owners will need to provide an electronic signature in the system and make payment before a report can be submitted.
To assist with the registration process, as well as general use of the system, the DOB has created a user manual for Owners and Owner’s Representatives. Additionally, the DOB is hosting information sessions for Owners on August 30th and Owners Representatives on August 31st, as well as several sessions for QEWI’s to provide information and answer questions related to this new process. I attended the information session Monday, August 22nd and found it to be very helpful in reducing some of the concerns that I had with the new system.
Some concerns that remain involve the length of time to input the data in to the system, the capacity of the system (particularly as we approach filing deadlines) and the risk of human error. Hopefully these issues will be alleviated relatively quickly, however as a word of caution, I recommend that all necessary individuals register as soon as possible and have FISP reports filed as early as possible.
If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me.