The Wellington City Council is starting a major IT project to better serve the Council and its customers.
The Council’s Chief Executive, Kevin Lavery, says it’s important that Council constantly reviews the way it works so it can be the best it can as a Council, for the city and the region.
“The Council has too many IT systems - more than 120 - supporting its business. A lot of our systems are duplicated across business units and do not easily work with each other. The result is an IT environment that is complex and costly to maintain, and restricts our ability to deliver great customer service.”
The project is about bringing together the Council’s core IT systems – dealing with customer service, finance, HR and property functions - onto a single platform.
“This is an exciting opportunity for us to lead the development of something special that will serve the Council, the city and the region long into the future,” says Mr Lavery.
“It’s about drawing on our skill and expertise and challenging ourselves to create an IT system and services that are truly world-class.
The Council’s IT/IM Manager, Channa Jayasinha, says an initial RFI (requests for information) process will start today and there will be an emphasis on encouraging local IT companies to take an interest in the process. It is expected that a full RFP/tendering process will start later this year and that it will take up to six months for bids and proposals to be fully considered.
Mr Jayasinha says Wellington City Council spends almost $30 million a year on its IT systems and services. “Compared to other councils the relative cost of running our systems is very high – partly because of complexity and the challenges involved in keeping them running.
“Among our principal aims is to simplify the systems. We believe we can cut annual running costs by up to $10 million a year - and provide far better services to customers and staff.”
The Council also currently employs 115 IT staff. Mr Jayasinha says the proposed changes will eventually have an impact on staffing numbers but it is likely to be 2-3 years before they are implemented. Eventually we won’t need as many staff to service our ICT systems as we have today but I believe we will be able to manage the reduction through natural attrition and redeployment, although some redundancies are possible.”