Taranaki region shares in software excellence award
Region shares in software excellence award
5 November 2013
The Taranaki region’s role in a large-scale IT success story has been recognised with a national award for excellence.
The award is shared by six regional councils who have worked together to develop and share specialist technical software needed for their core functions.
The Integrated Regional Information System (IRIS) is one of the largest local government shared-services project ever undertaken in New Zealand, and won the ‘Joined Up Local Government’ Excellence Award at this week’s Society of Local Government Managers annual meeting in Wellington.
“We’re delighted with this recognition,” says Taranaki Regional Council Director-Corporate Services Mike Nield, who accepted the award on behalf of the Northland, Waikato, Taranaki, Horizons, West Coast and Southland Regional Councils. “It caps off what has been a lot of hard work by a lot of people all over New Zealand, who have worked together to deliver a result that is on budget, fulfills the scope and is of high quality.”
Around 200 staff from the six Councils, along with 50 from contractor Datacom, have been involved in what is a complex project. The database alone is made up of hundreds of thousands of resource consent and other records. IRIS is now live at two of the Councils and about to go live at the other four.
“Each of the Council’s core systems was running on end-of-life software platforms that were no longer being supported,” says Mr Nield “Doing nothing was not an option but no affordable package was available that would meet our needs. So the Councils decided to collaborate to develop a shared system. This has allowed a level of investment that no individual council would be able to afford on its own. It brings economies of scale.”
He says IRIS has brought a total change in the way Regional Councils undertake their business. “All Councils have invested significantly in redefining their business practices, in line with best practice. This has involved high levels of co-operation among Councils and high levels of training for end users. “
Ownership and management of IRIS is vested in a company owned by the six Councils, and the way is open for other Regional Councils to join the project.