The Finance Department of the City of Houston conducted a study in which they determined that non-compliant permitting was one of the biggest reasons for revenue leak in the city. This revenue loss came in the form of missed permitting fee payments.

In numerous cases the constituents of the City of Houston did not know they had to obtain a permit or license, and this was attributed to the lack of an online resource where citizens could find relevant permitting information across the different city departments, all in the same resource.

HPC worked with TruePenny to create a Permitting Information Wizard that would help customers find out the permits they need to be compliant with the relevant permitting regulations and how to get them.


The Permitting Information Wizard, also known as the Project Planner, is a self-service, wizard-style tool that was developed using Oracle Policy Automation (OPA), now known as Oracle Intelligent Advisor.

These are a few of its highlights:

  • It guides customers through a series of interactive interview paths uniquely tailored to each individual user based on their responses.

  • It provides customers with a summary of all the relevant permitting instruments, depending on their responses, as well as a decision report that explains why each determination was made.

  •  It provides additional content related to the permitting instruments deemed as required, such as links to documentation and application instructions.

  • It allows registered users to save their progress so they can stop the interview process at any time and resume it later.

  • The Project Planner provides information in English, Spanish and Vietnamese, with the option of adding additional languages in the future.


TruePenny is committed to giving IRS technical support for its business rules engine that monitors compliance with the ACA. This support:

  • Integrates Java/J2EE development with OPA, business rules, automated scripting, and architectural design support.

  • Utilizes a team matrix environment that ensures consistent updates and solutions to meet changing organizational needs.

  • Consistently arrives on time, within budget, and to a high degree of satisfaction.


  • The Project Planner was integrated seamlessly with the Houston Permitting Center Portal, and its interactive interviews handle more than 400 permitting instruments.

  • The application was designed with ease of maintenance in mind, with an intuitive folder and rule structure.

  • Key personnel at the Houston Permitting Center have been trained by TruePenny in the use of the Oracle Policy Automation so they can update and maintain the application in the future.