JA7.8      Data Registry Approval

This section explains the requirements for approval of Data Registries that provide services to authorized users for creating and registering documents required for compliance with Part 6.

The Commission shall perform acceptance testing of Data Registries when a Registration Provider applicant submits an application in order to determine if the requirements in Reference Joint Appendix JA7 have been met.

Detailed guidance for approval of data registries may be provided in the Data Registry Requirements Manual.

JA7.8.1 Overview

The approval procedure requires self-testing and self-certification by the Registration Provider applicant. The Registration Provider applicant shall conduct the specified tests, evaluate the results and certify in writing that the Data Registry passes the tests. The Commission shall perform spot checks and may require additional tests to verify that the proposed Data Registry is suitable for use for providing the compliance document registration functionality required by the Standards. The Registration Provider shall develop a user manual or online help screens that explain how to perform the document registration procedures offered by the Data Registry. The user manual or online help screens shall be reviewed by the Commission for accuracy and ease of use.

JA7.8.2 Application Checklist

Application for approval shall conform to all applicable requirements given in Standards Section 10-109. The following is a list of the items that shall be included in an application package:

JA7.8.2.1           Registration Provider Applicant Certification Statement.

A statement from the Registration Provider applicant certifying the reliability and accuracy of the Data Registry when used for registration of Compliance Documents in accordance with the requirements of Standards Section 10-103(a), Reference Joint Appendix JA7, and may reference the guidance given in the Data Registry Requirements Manual.

The template for the Registration Provider Certification Statement document may be published in the Data Registry Requirements Manual, and electronic versions of the Registration Provider Certification Statement template shall be made available to Registration Provider applicant upon request.

JA7.8.2.2           Compliance Document Registration Test Results.

Electronic copies of the results of the data exchange verification tests, and electronic copies of the registered documents that result from the document registration tests shall be provided. Detailed guidance to assist the applicant in performing and reporting the standardized tests may be given in the Data Registry Requirements Manual.

JA7.8.2.3           User Manual

A copy of the user manual for the Data Registry shall be provided in an electronic format that can be utilized by word processing software.  Help screens from the Data Registry user interface, organized into an electronic document file with a table of contents is an acceptable alternative to the requirement for a user manual.

JA7.8.2.4           Data Registry Authorized User Account Access.

User name and password information shall be provided to allow access to the Data Registry for Commission staff to perform verification of Data Registry functionality.

The Registration Provider's digital signature public key shall be provided in order that their digital signature on registered documents can be tested.

JA7.8.2.5           Application Fee and Other Administrative Requirements

Refer to Standards Section 10-109 for required application fees and additional administrative requirements applicable to approval of data registries.

JA7.8.3 Types of Approval

There are two Data Registry approval procedures: full approval, and amendment to full approval. Full approval is required for all Data Registry changes unless they qualify for the amendment to full approval procedure.

JA7.8.3.1           Full Approval

Full approval is required when an applicant Data Registry service has not previously been approved by the Commission. Additionally, the Commission may require that all Data Registries conform to the requirements of a full approval procedure when the Standards are updated (re-approval), or whenever substantial changes are made to a Data Registry's functionality, security, or technology features. When Data Registry re-approval is mandated by the Commission, all Registration Providers shall be notified of the re-approval timetable. A revised Data Registry Requirements Manual may be published to provide guidance for the re-approval process.

Full approval shall ensure the Data Registry conforms to all applicable requirements for functionality and security in JA7 including but not limited to:

(a)  Capability to produce and manage registered documents (JA7.5).

(b)  Electronic signature capability, and manage authorization of users (JA7.

(c)  Document data validation (JA7.

(d)  Signer review and signature actions (JA7.

(e)  Digital signature and digital certificate actions (JA7.

(f)   Capability to transmit secured documents and data to the Commission Compliance Document Repository (JA7.

(g)  Document retention capability (JA7.

(h)  Capability to receive and process secured output files from compliance software and other software tools approved for use for registering compliance documents (JA7.

(i)   Capability for data exchange with compliance report generation services approved by the Commission to generate formatted electronic documents (JA7.7).

Detailed guidance to assist with approval procedures may be given in the Data Registry Requirements Manual.

JA7.8.3.2           Amendments

Certain types of changes to Data Registry software applications may be made through a streamlined amendment process. Changes that qualify for amendment approval are changes for which there are minor changes to the document registration procedures, data input requirements, or registered documentation output for the Data Registry.  When Data Registry modifications qualify for amendment approval, the following procedure shall be followed:

(a)  The Registration Provider applicant shall notify the Commission in writing to provide a description of the change and the reason for making the change.

(b)  The Registration Provider applicant shall prepare an addendum to the user 'manual describing the change to the Data Registry if applicable.


(c)  The Commission shall respond to the Registration Provider applicant within 45 days. The Commission response to the applicant may:

1. approve the modification;

2. request additional information;

3. refuse to approve the modification;

4. require the Registration Provider to submit results of additional acceptance tests applicable to the modification; or

5. require that the Registration Provider make specific changes to either the User 'Manual addendum or the Data Registry functionality.

The Registration Provider shall submit results of any required validation tests applicable to the modification. It is not necessary to resubmit Data Registry test results previously submitted that remain valid.

Any amendment to an existing Data Registry approval shall be accompanied by a cover letter explaining the type of amendment requested, and copies of any other applicable documents that are required. All items on the application checklist shall be submitted, when applicable. The timetable for approval of amendments is the same as for full approval.

(d)  With Commission approval, the Registration Provider may make the modified Data Registry available for use for registration of compliance documentation, along with the modified user manual or addendum to the user manual, and shall notify authorized users of the Data Registry.

JA7.8.4 Rescinding Approval (Deactivation) of Data Registries

The Commission may rescind approval of Data Registries through various means.

JA7.8.4.1           Procedures that Initiate Deactivation

(a) All Data Registries are deactivated when the Standards undergo substantial changes, usually occurring with each Standards update. However, the Data Registry shall remain approved to provide document registration for projects that have been permitted under the prior versions of the Standards.

(b) Any Data Registry can be deactivated by a letter from the Registration Provider requesting that the Data Registry be deactivated. The deactivation request shall briefly describe the reasons that justify the need for deactivation.

(c) Any "initiating party" may commence a procedure to deactivate a Data Registry according to the steps outlined below. The intent is to provide a means whereby serious Data Registry errors, flawed numeric results, improper registered document output not discovered in the Data Registry approval process can be verified, and a corrective course of action determined. In this process, there is ample opportunity for the Commission, the Registration Provider, and all interested parties to evaluate any alleged errors in the Data Registry functionality.

JA7.8.4.2           Challenging a Data Registry and Initiating Deactivation

A description of the process for challenging a Data Registry or initiating a deactivation procedure follows:

(a)  Any party may initiate a review of a Data Registry approval by sending a written communication to the Commission's Executive Director. (The Commission may be the initiating party for this type of review by noticing the availability of the same information 'listed here.) The initiating party shall:

1.        State the name of the Data Registry that contains the alleged errors;

2.        Identify concisely the nature of the alleged errors in the Data Registry that require review;

3.        Explain why the alleged errors are serious enough in their effect on document registration compliance to justify a deactivation procedure; and

4.        Include appropriate data electronically (in a format agreed to by the Commission staff) and/or information sufficient to evaluate the alleged errors.

(b)  The Executive Director shall make a copy or copies of the initial written communication available to the Registration Provider and interested parties within 30 days. Comments from interested parties shall be received within 60 days of the acceptance of the original application.

(c)  Within 75 days of receipt of the written communication, the Executive Director may request any additional information needed to evaluate the alleged Data Registry errors from the party who initiated the deactivation review process. If the additional information is incomplete, this procedure will be delayed until the initiating party submits complete information.

(d)  Within 75 days of receipt of the initial written communication, the Executive Director may convene a workshop to gather additional information from the initiating party, the Registration Provider and interested parties. All parties will have 15 days after the workshop to submit additional information regarding the alleged program errors.

(e)  Within 90 days after the Executive Director receives the application or within 30 days after receipt of complete additional information requested of the initiating party, whichever is later, the Executive Director shall either:

1.        Determine that the Data Registry need not be deactivated; or

2.        Submit to the Commission a written recommendation that the Data Registry be deactivated.

(f)   If the Commission approves the Data Registry deactivation, it shall take effect 60 days later. During the first 30 days of the 60 day period, the Executive Director shall send out a Notice to Enforcement Agencies and Interested Parties announcing the deactivation.

JA7.8.4.3           Burden of Proof

All initiating parties have the burden of proof to establish that the review of alleged Data Registry errors should be granted. The deactivation process may be terminated at any time by mutual written consent of the initiating party and the Executive Director.

The Registration Provider may use the 180 to 210-day period outlined here to update the Data Registry, get it re-approved by the Commission, and make available for use by authorized users, the revised version of the Data Registry that does not contain the errors initially brought to the attention of the Commission.

JA7.8.5 Data Registry User Manual

Each Registration Provider is required to publish a Data Registry User 'Manual. This requirement may be met with help screens incorporated into the Data Registry user interface, however, a printed version which includes all help screen items must be submitted with the application. The Data Registry User Manual provides guidance for building permit applicants and enforcement agency officials to enable correct use of the Data Registry, and assists with preparation of registered documentation used for submittals to enforcement agencies and other parties to the construction project.

The Document Registration Manual shall describe the specific Data Registry procedures for completing registered compliance documents. The manual shall provide instructions for preparing the data input and utilizing the registered documents for submittals. An example of a full set of compliance documents for a building project shall be included.

Data Registry User Manuals shall be written in a clear and concise manner and with an organization and format that will allow users to quickly locate the topic and understand the instructions. Also, Registration Providers shall make electronic copies of their user manual available from their Data Registry website to all building departments in California.

The following sections describe the information that shall be included in all Data Registry User Manuals. It also presents the required organization for that information.

JA7.8.5.1           Energy Commission Approval

This section includes a copy of the official Energy Commission notice of approval of the Data Registry. It shall include the date of approval, and may include an expiration date for approval as well. The Energy Commission will provide this notice upon completion of evaluation and approval of the Data Registry service.

JA7.8.5.2           Data Registry Capabilities

This section shall discuss the Data Registry capabilities, providing explanation of how to access these capabilities, and the purpose for each of these features. Reference may be made to sections of the Data Registry Users 'Manual for more complete description.

JA7.8.5.3           Preparing Basic Documents

This section shall cover the basic use of the Data Registries to prepare each of the basic Compliance Document types. Reference may be made to the users’ 'manual, but this section should include a complete summary of all document creation methods or commands necessary to complete the required registered documents.

JA7.8.5.4           Instruction for Submittal of the Registered Document(s)

This section shall contain instruction for completing submittals of completed registered documents to enforcement agencies or other persons who require copies of completed registered documents.  Instruction shall be given for all methods of submittal the Data Registry supports, including various methods for submittal of electronic copies of the registered documents, as well as for printing of paper copies

JA7.8.5.5           Sample Compliance Documentation

This section shall include an example of a complete set of compliance documentation for a sample building. The building need not be overly complex, nor need it include every document type possible. The example should, however, include example documentation for all Compliance document types that would normally be submitted for any occupancy types administered by the Data Registry.