The International Code Council (ICC) had a problem: Its I-Code Development Hearings were growing longer at the same time that building department budgets and staffs were growing smaller. In 2011, ICC’s Board of Directors took action, forming a Steering Committee and charging them with the daunting mission of bring the complicated code development process into the electronic age to boost the participation of Governmental Members and other stakeholders.
Last November, ICC rolled out its much-anticipated solution – a remote voting system called “cdpACCESS.” The new cloud-based online tool allows all eligible ICC members to offer code change proposals and public comments, collaborate with other colleagues, and cast their votes on Assembly Motions. But, more importantly, cdpACCESS allows ICC’s Governmental Member Voting Representatives (GMVRs) who aren’t able to attend the hearings to view the debates and vote on code change proposals from their computers or tablets.
cdpACCESS has the game-changing potential to broaden participation by GMVRs to literally tens of thousands, a far cry from the hundreds who have cast final action votes on ICC’s 15 I-Codes. The technology was successfully tested at the 2013 Public Comment Hearings in Atlantic City, NJ and was used officially at the 2015 International Green Construction Code (IgCC) hearings this year in Memphis, TN.
With each use, ICC is gathering feedback to continuously improve both the tool and the process. Because the Public Comment Hearings give GMVRs the most thorough insight into the pros and cons of code change proposals, ICC still strongly encourages their attendance. And since GMVRs casting their votes remotely after the hearings will only see successful motions on their ballots, those who are at the hearings in-person will effectively set the agenda for the electronic voting.
As the first and only tool that offers all officials engaged in code administration, formulation, or enforcement a chance to vote on America’s model building codes, cdpACCESS is a significant milestone in the history of building codes. With remote voting, any GMVR or ICC member can now virtually attend ICC hearings and have their views counted.
The initial implementation of cdpACCESS already proved to be a huge opportunity to successfully enhance the future of the code development process and increase participation among members. How we shape that future will depend on our continued efforts.
How can you participate?
If you haven’t already used it in the last hearings, check out this easy step-by-step guide on how to vote using cdpACCESS and a cdpACCESS Flow Chart to understand the process. If you are a stakeholder, but are not an ICC member, get your membership so you can participate. If you’d like to contact ICC staff for help with cdpACCESS, they are only an e-mail or phone call away:
- E-mail: cdpACCESS@iccsafe.org
- Toll-free: (855) ICC-CDP1 or (855) 422-2371
Public Comment Hearings on the 2015 IgCC in October
The International Code Council (ICC) 2014 Annual Conference, Group C Public Comment Hearings and Expo are happening this fall in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The cdpACCESS system will be live at the Public Comment Hearings at the event. All ICC Governmental Member Voting Representatives must be validated by the Governmental Member’s Primary Voter by September 1, 2014. For more information on the Annual Conference, click here.