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Ratepayers to benefit from IT improvements

MEDIA RELEASE


21 November 2002


Residents and ratepayers to benefit from IT improvements


Auckland City is to replace its local government computer system to deliver better service to residents and ratepayers and improve the efficiency of its business operation.

The council’s Finance and Corporate Business Committee today unanimously approved the Project FOCUS programme. Project FOCUS is the replacement of software and hardware for Auckland City’s core local authority customer and land information computer system.

“As New Zealand’s largest territorial local authority, Auckland City is one of the country’s largest organisations and undertakes a significant number of activities. A modern and reliable computer system is critical to both our efficiency and effectiveness,” says the chairperson of the council’s Finance and Corporate Business Committee, Councillor Douglas Armstrong.

“The council’s current computer system (TCS) has been in operation for 13 years and has reached its “use-by” date. It is time to replace it and invest in an alternative. Today’s decision will not only meet the council’s current needs but will also give us the ability to respond to future needs of residents, ratepayers and staff. It is a responsible decision that will benefit everyone in Auckland City.”

The Project Focus programme will allow the council to offer enhanced services and new products. It will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and provide access to Auckland City services and information through email and internet. Project Focus will also allow greater use of e-business, including online lodging of consent applications, updating of customer details, rates enquiries and payments, parking infringement payments, dog registrations and renewals to name but a few (see attachment for full list of programme benefits).

Following a rigorous and extensive selection process, the council has selected the local government application suite “Pathway”, a system known to improve the efficiency of processes and be adaptable for future demands. Auckland City will implement Pathway in partnership with GEAC New Zealand Ltd, a company with an excellent standard of expertise in local government computer systems and a track record of success. Due to the size, complexity and critical nature of Project Focus, it will be phased in over the next two years.

Implementing Pathway will cost the council $9.5 million, the cost of which is being met over two financial years. Project FOCUS is expected to “go live” within the organisation in July 2003 and from November 2003 for residents and ratepayers.

Auckland City’s Director of Finance, David Rankin, says preliminary work for Project Focus began nearly two years ago and today’s decision is the result of a very thorough review and evaluation process. The implementation of Project Focus will follow best practice methodology, including regular monitoring and formal reviews, to a successful transition.

ENDS

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