Hastings plans $1 million e-commerce move

Hastings District Council is looking to spend over $1 million on "a move into e-commerce".

Hastings District Council is looking to spend over $1 million on “a move into e-commerce”.

IS manager Ian Wright says the council is looking to replace its Geac Gems local government software, which it has used since 1994.

“The main things we are looking for is better reporting, particularly on the executive information side, whether management are getting more timely and readable reports. We are also trying to break into e-commerce, to transact with our ratepayers so we can bring more things online,” says Wright.

That includes letting residents apply for building consents through the web and receiving payments from them.

The move is also being pushed by a change in rating legislation for local bodies which comes into effect next July, telling councils to provide more detailed billing.

“We are looking to see if we would be running the rating component in Gems or whether we have allowed ourselves enough time to convert to the new selected product,” says Wright.

The council serves 27,000 ratepayers and uses Gems for finances, rating and licensing matters covering health, liquor and dogs.

It recently put out an information tender, asking for cost estimates from bidders. It expects about 10 responses overall. It has set aside $750,000 for the software and around $1 million for the overall implementation of the project.

It plans to make a decision early next year and implement some of the systems from next July.

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