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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Audit challenges a bit of conventional wisdom




TAMPA – Among many candidates for mayor and City Council, it’s virtually an article of faith that Tampa City Hall is not user-friendly for business.

Now comes a challenge to that conventional wisdom. It's focused on just one area -- construction permitting -- but it's an area that often comes up on the campaign trail.

In a report going to the City Council Thursday, Tampa internal auditors said they surveyed businesses to gauge customer satisfaction with the city’s Construction Services Center.

Among those who responded to a survey, overall customer satisfaction with the services provided by the Construction Services Center was satisfactory, according to the report, which can be seen at

To do that, auditors mailed surveys to 40 customers served through the city’s construction services division on May 14. Eleven completed and returned the survey. One survey couldn't be delivered, and 28 did not respond.

Of the 11, three said they were not happy. Their complaint: they couldn’t get answers over the phone or calls returned in a timely way.

Auditors also identified three of 60 projects where it took more than a day for the city to notify someone that their plans had been approved.

Construction services officials told auditors they try to return calls within 24 hours and notify them within one business day when their plans have been approved.

[Last modified: Monday, December 13, 2010 6:16pm]


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