The California Department of Consumer Affairs this week launched a project that will create a standardized enforcement and licensing system for consumers and departments to access online, a department spokesperson said today.

The BreEZe project will replace all of the department’s current databases, standardizing licensing and enforcement tools, department spokesperson Russ Heimrick said. Integrating systems will allow the department to make better business decisions regarding enforcement, reduce paper use, and improve the experience for applicants, licensees and consumers.

"This is actually going to leapfrog us ahead in terms of the technology," said Heimrick, who also noted that BreEZe will be the largest licensing system in the world.

The department executed a $30.2 million contract in September with Accenture, which will use Iron Data as the software solution, said BreEZe project manager Brandon Rutschmann. The new IT system will combine the five large systems and 90 work-around databases currently in use.

Payment for the project is pending until the database starts delivering the desired product, according to Heimrick.

"The idea is that it has to be working before we start paying for it," Heimrick said. "The biggest deal is that we have very, very little risk."

The impetus for the project, launched this week and rolling out in its first phase for a third of the department’s boards in Fall 2012, was criticism aimed at the department in 2009 about enforcement turn-around times, Rutschmann said. Once the site is fully operational in Fall 2013, consumers will have better access to licensing information and complaint procedures.

"Right now we have a very limited website for our consumers, so they don’t have a lot of access to our services," Rutschmann said. "This system is going to put a huge presence out there on the web."

The Department of Consumer Affairs, in charge of licensing professionals such as nurses and cosmetologists, has roughly 40 regulatory entities and bureaus. The BreEZe project will create a website accessible through each of the entities’ individual sites and also have an independent web address for easy access online.