Councils seek funding for IRIS software project

Shared regional council project reaches decision time

Two regional councils that have signed up for a shared council information system are seeking funding to get the project up and running.

The integrated regional information system (IRIS) has backing from Northland Regional Council, Horizons (Manwatu-Wanganui) as well as project leader Environment Waikato.

Northland systems process manager Carol Cottam says the council is half way through the funding approval process.

“We’re working through the internal processes needed to get budget approval. I’m hoping that funding will be approved in January and we can move ahead with the project.”

Horizons CEO Michael McCartney says the council is involved and still working through the value proposition.

“We’re still keen at this stage to see this thing come to fruition, but like all councils we need to go through our funding process through the LTCCP [Long Term Council Community Plan].”

Project director Derek Postlewaight, of Environment Waikato, says the councils are taking recommendations to their appropriate committees in councils.

“That’s going to take a wee while to work through,” he says.

He would not comment further, saying the probity of process has to be properly followed.

In early 2007, various regional councils raised the idea of collaborating on the development of common software to support administration. The idea was promoted among the IT managers, the CFOs and the CEOs, receiving varying degrees of support.

In October 2007, 10 councils agreed to participate in a request for proposal process.

A July report on the project, to Environment Waikato’s finance and audit committee, says all 10 remaining councils continued to participate, with the majority of the leadership coming from Northland and Waikato.

Sixteen conforming responses were received to the RFP and five vendors were selected to make presentations. One then withdrew while the other four presented in early March. Three vendors were then short-listed. Datacom was selected as the potential partner.

“The group of 10 councils is shrinking,” the report notes. “Seven councils have indicated they wish to participate further, and may be potential funders of the development.”

It says, assuming the feasibility study is acceptable, a minimum of three councils will commit to the development.

“Northland, Horizons and Environment Waikato all believe that this is the best way forward for our organisations,” the report says.

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Tags managementnorthlandwaikatoirishorizons

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