Electronic delivery of services in the “e-local-government” spirit emerged as a significant topic at the annual conference of local government IT managers in Taupo.
“They were talking about some fairly basic things like enabling people to pay their rates online, making submissions and accessing the minutes of meetings,” says Association of Local Government Information Managers (ALGIM) executive member Jim Higgins.
There was a beginning of an exploration of the potential of mobile and broadband communications, Higgins says, but on the mobile side in particular it was mainly an awareness-raising exercise, he says. “They’ll be talking about real applications for it next year.”
For Mike Hesseling of Waipa District Council, “the need for information gateways” emerged as a priority.
“Our customers want information; they don’t care where it comes from; they just want it delivered in the way they want to see it. The challenge for IT is to do that and at the same time control the integrity and security of the database.”
In many cases, he adds, information will come both from the local authority databases and from other sources, presenting the additional challenge of merging these streams.
Overall “Algim was an amazing conference, with the best vendor trade show I’ve ever seen,” he says.
The event was staged late last month.