Labour faces first IT test

Approval for the second stage of Land Information New Zealand's Landonline project will be the first major IT project to come under the eye of the new Government.

Approval for the second stage of Land Information New Zealand's Landonline project will be the first major IT project to come under the eye of the new Government.

Landonline's first stage substantially automates the labour- and paper-intensive process of seeking records, both of the physical layout of land and its ownership, and making changes to them.

Paper records will, ultimately, not be used for routine searches and updates.

The first stage is currently implemented in Dunedin, and will be rolled out progressively over the next two years, a timescale dictated by the conversion of old data. That task is being performed by EDS.

The second stage - known internally as CRS2 - will allow outside parties, such as surveyors and solicitors, to submit electronic records of new entries and changes from their own offices.

As at the end of Stage 1, although all the internal operation of the system is electronic, such people will still have to submit information on paper.

Approval for the new request will occur in several phases, says programme manager Terry Jackson. Approval for the requirements phase has been gained, and Linz is starting work on that.

"We'll look at the technical options, and ... go back to Government and ask whether we can tender. Approval will be sought from a ministerial sub-committee especially set up to oversee this project.

"That includes the Minister for State Services and his associate, the Minister for Land Information, the Finance Minister and the Minister for IT.

"We make reports to them monthly anyway", but there will be a major submission on the request to tender, says Jackson.

If that is cleared - expected to be in October - there will be anormal tendering process, and once the final supplier is chosen, there will be another approach to the committee to check they are happy with the arrangement.

"Then we will proceed to the design and build phase.”

Completion of CRS2 is envisaged to be in late 2002, though that depends on the strategy adopted by the successful tenderer.

Linz already has five suppliers in mind and the tender will only be sent to these.

Landonline had a major setback last year, when it was decided that the original plan, to process every possible transaction automatically through stored knowledge, was impractical.

The system was redesigned to account for the majority of possible transactions automatically, and flag the complex ones for manual attention.

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