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Digitisation project will speed up access


Timaru District Council is working to streamline its processes by launching a project to digitise its building files.

Council Chief Information Officer Justin Bagust says that the project involves scanning the physical building files for the whole district and creating electronic copies.

“Currently, most building files are stored in Council’s archive. Retrieving, scanning and refiling these paper files repeatedly adds time and cost to many council processes,” he said.

“The project will enable our valuable building files to be stored securely in a way that is both easier and faster to access.

“It will improve the accessibility, retrievability and traceability of building files for both members of public and council staff. It also enables us to comply with relevant legislation, standards and requirements.”

The team have completed the pilot phase of the project to ensure internal processes were robust. They now plan to send around 12,000 building files for scanning by an accredited contractor between 14 and 18 October.

These files will include both commercial and residential files in urban areas of Timaru, Temuka and Geraldine areas.

If a building file is requested while offsite for scanning there may be a three to four working day delay as the file is scanned on demand. Although there may be a short delay in accessing certain information in the short term, all information requests will be filled within statutory timeframes.

“Customers will be advised whether their required files are out for scanning. If the files are still in the office, they can follow the usual application process,” said Justin.

“If the files are out, they will expect three to four working days delay. Council staff will contact them when the files are available.”

The files are being scanned by Wellington-based specialist Desktop Imaging.


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