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City debuts new $29.6 million computer system to speed up construction jobs

City Buildings Department Commissioner Rick Chandler at a recent Crain's event.

Agency will finally ditch paper filing system it has been using since 1989

The city's Department of Buildings officially launched the first phase of a $29.6 million computer system that will replace paper transactions and an obsolete filing system, the agency announced Tuesday.

The program, dubbed DOB NOW, "will not only offer the public a far more user-friendly experience, but it will also help [the buildings department] perform a wide range of tasks, from critical functions like addressing safety lapses at construction sites, to routine items such as issuing licenses and permits," said Mayor Bill de Blasio in a statement.

The initial phase of the program will allow builders to file paperwork online for sprinkler and plumbing work. Eventually, all transactions will be conducted digitally. In June, Rick Chandler, the department's commissioner, told Crain's it will streamline the construction process and give investigators more data to identify potential trends in unsafe work.

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