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 Title 24, Part 6.

The Commission shall perform acceptance testing of Data Registries when a Registration Provider submits an application for approval in order to confirm the requirements in Appendix JA7 have been met.

When an application for approval includes use of external digital data sources (EDDS) described in Section JA7.7.1, the Energy Commission shall perform acceptance testing of the EDDS proposed to be used for data input by authorized users of the Data Registry.

Detailed guidance for acceptance testing and approval procedures for data registries and EDDS may be provided in the Data Registry Requirements Manual.

JA7.8 is not applicable to approval of compliance software used for the performance compliance method for demonstrating compliance with Part 6.

JA7.8.1 Overview

The approval procedure requires the Registration Provider applicant to perform self-testing of the required document registration capabilities.

When the application for approval includes use of an EDDS, the EDDS services provider and the Registration Provider shall perform self-testing of the data exchange features proposed for approval, and confirm that the data exchange from the EDDS to the Data Registry provides accurate information to all applicable compliance document data fields for each compliance document for which the EDDS is proposed to be used for data input.

The Commission shall subsequently perform acceptance tests to verify that the proposed Data Registry is suitable for use for providing the compliance document registration functionality required by the Standards.

Guidance for alternative procedures for the Energy Commission staff to perform acceptance testing of the document registration capabilities may be described in the Data Registry Requirements Manual.

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 Sections 10-109 and 10-110. 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), 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 the Registration Provider applicant upon request.

JA7.8.2.2 Compliance Document Registration Self-Test Results.

Electronic copies of the results from the Registration Provider's document registration self-tests shall be provided.

Detailed guidance to assist the applicant in performing and reporting the self-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 User Account Access.

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

The Registration Provider's digital signature public key shall be made available such that the digital signature on registered documents produced by the Data Registry can be tested.

JA7.8.2.5 Application Fee and Other Administrative Requirements

Data Registry approvals shall conform to all applicable requirements and procedures specified in Standards Section 10-109 and 10-110.

JA7.8.2.6 Disclosure of Contractual Agreements with External Digital Data Sources (EDDS)

A working agreement document or contract shall be executed between a Registration Provider and an External Digital Data Source (EDDS) services provider as prerequisite to approval of the EDDS for use for transmittal of data to the Data Registry for Title 24, Part 6 document registration. The agreement shall describe the specifications of any Internet-based EDDS services or EDDS software utilized to store the compliance document data on behalf of authorized users of the Data Registry, including description of any Internet-based data gateway interfaces used for sharing the compliance data with third parties.

Applications for approval of a Data Registry to use EDDS services shall include documentation to disclose the details of the working agreement(s) or contract(s) between the Registration Provider and EDDS services entity. This documentation shall include descriptions of the parties involved, and the technologies used for the data exchanges between the EDDS and the Data Registry.

A separate agreement is required for each working relationship between a Data Registry and an EDDS.  EDDS services providers may be approved to provide services to any number of approved Registration Providers. Registration Providers may be approved for use of any number of EDDS services providers.

JA7.8.3 Types of Approval

There are two Data Registry approval procedures: full approval as described in Section JA7.8.3.1, and streamlined approval of amendments and revisions as described in Section JA7.8.3.2. Approval of an EDDS services provider shall conform to the requirements of either Section JA7.8.3.1 or Section JA7.8.3.2, as applicable. Detailed guidance to assist with approval procedures may be given in the Data Registry Requirements Manual.

JA7.8.3.1 Full Approval

Full approval by the Energy Commission shall be required when an applicant Registration Provider has not previously been approved by the Energy Commission.

Full approval by the Energy Commission shall be required whenever major changes are made to a Data Registry's functionality, security, or technology features that necessitate acceptance testing of more than 30% of the compliance document templates used in the applicant's Data Registry library.

Full approval by the Energy Commission shall be required when the Standards are updated (re-approval). When Data Registry re-approval is mandated by the Energy 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 Appendix 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 electronic data using best practices for secure data exchange, using data sources and procedures approved by the Energy Commission for registering compliance documents (JA7.; JA7.7).

(i)       Capability for data exchange with the compliance report generation services made available by the Energy Commission to generate formatted electronic documents (JA7.2, JA7.7).

JA7.8.3.2 Streamlined Approval of Amendments and Revisions

Amendments and revisions to existing Data Registry software and services for which full approval by the Energy Commision is not required, may be approved by the Executive Director through a streamlined process.

Changes that qualify for streamlined approval include minor changes to the Data Registry document registration procedures, data input specifications and procedures, or registered compliance document output.

Any application for amendment or revision to existing Data Registry software and services shall be accompanied by a cover letter explaining the type of amendment or revision requested, and copies of any applicable documents that are necessary to fully describe and justify the proposed amendment or revision.

All items on the application checklist in section JA7.8.2 that are applicable to the proposed amendment or revision shall be submitted.

When Data Registry modifications qualify for streamlined approval, the following procedure shall be followed:

(a)    The Registration Provider applicant shall notify the Executive Director 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 Executive Director shall respond to the Registration Provider applicant in accordance with the procedures specified in Standards Section 10-110. The Executive Director 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.

 (d) Subject to approval by the Executive Director, 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 when modifications to the Data Registry have been made available.

JA7.8.4 Rescinding Approval (Deactivation) of Data Registries

The Commission may rescind approval of Data Registries through various means as described in this section.

A revision to the functionality of a Data Registry to discontinue a working or contractual relationship between the Data Registry and an External Digital Data Source:

(a)  Shall not be a procedure that initiates deactivation of the Data Registry. 

(b)  Shall use the approval procedures specified in Sections JA7.8.3.1 or JA7.8.3.2, as applicable.

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 in Section JA7.8.4.2 below. The intent is to provide a means whereby serious Data Registry errors, flawed numeric results, or improper registered document output not discovered in the Data Registry approval process can be verified, and a corrective course of action determined. Also, the intent is to provide 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 Energy 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 Executive Director) 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 Data Registry 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 Energy Commission a written recommendation that the Data Registry be deactivated.

(f)   If the Energy 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 by incorporating help screens into the Data Registry user interface, or making electronic tutorials readily available to users. A printed or electronic version which includes all help screen items or tutorials must be submitted with the application. The Data Registry User Manual shall provide 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 for 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 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.

JA7.8.5.2 Preparing Basic Documents

This section shall cover the basic use of the Data Registries to prepare each of the basic Compliance Document types, and should include a complete summary of all document creation methods or commands necessary to complete the required registered documents.

JA7.8.5.3 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

JA7.8.5.4 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 typical occupancy types administered by the Data Registry.

JA7.8.5.5 Instruction for Use of EDDS for Data Input for Document Registration

When a Data Registry is approved to make available use of EDDS features to authorized users of the Data Registry for data input during document registration procedures, the Data Registry user manual shall include instructions for use of those features. The instructions shall describe use of the Data Registry user interface for EDDS data input procedures. Additionally, if the EDDS services provider has a user interface or software application that the user is expected to access and operate that is independent of the Data Registry user interface, a copy of the EDDS service or software user instructions shall be included in the Data Registry User Manual