Waitakere City Council has joined the nationwide municipal drive towards electronic data management.
The west Auckland local authority has issued a request-for-information tender asking for systems to keep records and manage documents, with implementation set for next year.
Capabilities sought include scanning/imaging, electronic document and records management, folder management, forms processing, computer output to laser disk, workflow management, content management, corporate library management and electronic commerce.
Information manager John Johnson says the council hopes a new system will improve the efficiency of the council by making it easy for staff to retrieve information and reduce the amount of duplication and paper copies of documents. However, Johnson doubts an EDM system will create a paperless office — one aim of the EDM system being implemented at Dunedin City Council. He says he has been in contact with Dunedin and other local bodies about the effectiveness of systems installed so far.
Johnson says Waitakere City will look at how any new system will integrate with other council systems, such as its Geac-supplied Gems financial software, and whether other hardware and software will need to be upgraded to cope with a new EDM system, as is the case at Dunedin City. Waitakere City Council mainly uses Windows NT4 on desktops and Windows-based servers. Currently the council uses a mix of hard copy/paper-based and electronic systems for document and data management.
Waitakere City is keeping its budget for the project under wraps, saying the figure is based on what has recently been spent by other local bodies, but it would review its budget if required. Subject to the RFI process going well, Johnson says the council hopes to have the new system implemented in the first half of 2003.