Audit of BACP Business License Process

The City of Chicago Office of Inspector General (OIG) published an audit of the City’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) Business License Process.

The audit focused on the period January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2010.

“OIG auditors found that BACP’s license issuance operations were effective and efficient,” said Inspector General Joe Ferguson. “Most licenses are issued within one month of a business owner’s initial inquiry to the City. However, BACP could stand to improve its online licensure system; more and more business is being transacted over the internet, and BACP license operations could do a better job reflecting that reality.”

OIG found that only 10-15% of new business applications were filed online. Pointing to budget constraints, BACP indicated this is an area they hope to improve. Currently, there is not enough funding to upgrade their system to:

  •   Allow for electronic processing for each type of business license required by the City
  •  Allow for electronic processing of emailed or scanned licensure documents
  • Enable the system to accept submissions in multiple languages

OIG audit did not address the City’s construction permitting process nor did it qualify or judge licenses issued by the City. It simply measured the efficiency of the City’s business licensure process.

“I would like to thank the Commissioner and BACP employees. Their full cooperation allowed OIG staff to perform a complete audit of an important City function. It is my hope that they are able to use the audit results to improve their systems and service for City taxpayers.”