The district council for the North Island community of Horowhenua has implemented Authority 7 the latest version of the Authority local government management software from UK company Civica, reducing the time taken to deliver its land information memorandum (LIM) report from 10 days to, on average, half a day.
The LIM report provides information to potential buyers of land in the district on whether the land is free from restrictions and whether their intended use of the land is feasible.
The report includes information from a range of council records, such as the status of the road (public, or private), type of water connection, property hazards, zoning information and status of intended use of the property, building consents/permits and other consents, licenses and notices affecting the land or building and storm water and sewerage drains on the property.
The council is required by legislation to deliver a LIM report within 10 working days, but since implementing Authority 7 Nicki Brady, the council’s group manager business services, said the council had maintained an average turnaround of their reports in half a day for the past 18 months.
Brady said a single staff member was now able to generate the report with much of the information included automatically rather than creating the entire report manually.
“We had about eight different officers feeding information into that report and they were all using different pieces of software to do that and knowledge from their minds that only they held.
She described the new LIM report procedure as “a remarkable outcome for our stakeholders and community. It saves time and money, and more importantly, our customer feedback has been extremely positive.”
Horowhenua District Council has been using Civica’s Authority software since 2010. Following the LIM report project, Brady has been exploring additional opportunities to improve the council’s service delivery.
As a next step, she and her team are looking at the council’s other systems to determine whether they also have information that can be pulled into the new LIM report. The council wants to understand how it could have better information going into Authority, so it can avoid using multiple systems to pull information from.
“We have also redeveloped our internal WebMap application to draw more information from Authority,” Brady said. “While we already had two-way integration between our GeoMedia product and Authority, using parcel links and various reporting tools, we are now able to display much more information about a parcel of land while using just the WebMap product.”
She added: “The spatial display of Authority data is proving to be a valuable tool for staff and will become more so as staff move to mobility solutions.”
Civica formally released Authority 7 in the ANZ region last week at a press briefing in Sydney with Richard Fiddis, managing director, Civica International, saying it contained a number of features to support mobility and automation that were becoming crucial elements in the digital transformation journey of councils.
“Being able to interact with Authority while in the field will ultimately help councils achieve greater productivity with administration tasks being managed simultaneously to tasks occurring in the field,” Fiddis said.
“Meanwhile citizen-focused functions such as self-service portals enable councils to improve efficiencies and ultimately deliver a better customer experience for their rate payers.”
He added: “A key differentiator of Civica’s Authority solution is its flexibility. Its open standards integration via its API layer means that third party applications and legacy systems can easily integrate with Authority 7.”
Civica said a number of councils in the region were already beta testing Authority 7. It named Rockingham in Western Australia, which has launched Rock Port, “a self-service portal where citizens can manage a number of different services online using Civica Authority’s Community Portal platform.”