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New Zealand councils can now share knowledge with each other

By Shannon Williams
Mon 3 Nov 2014
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Local councils throughout New Zealand will today gain free access to a new online library that allows them to share their process knowledge and experience with other councils.

The Local Government Shared Process Library NZ consists of around 1,000 processes developed by councils and uploaded to the cloud for sharing. Promapp Solutions, which provides business process management software, announced its intention to make the library available to all New Zealand councils three weeks ago.

New Zealand councils have a history of sharing with each other, but this is the first time that sharing has been centralised nationwide, and demand for access to the online library has been high.

Ivan Seselj, CEO of Promapp, says “in the past three weeks, we have registered council members from nearly half of all councils in New Zealand. It’s a significant result and I think it shows that councils are eager to gain detailed insights into the way other councils operate and improve their own processes, performance and customer service.

He says councils are under significant pressure to do more with less, to operate efficiently and deliver good service on a lower cost base. “This online library allows councils to spend a few minutes browsing processes that have already been created by other New Zealand councils, instead of spending hours creating one from scratch.”

The library includes processes for activities where there is high public interest such as building consents, resource consents, wastewater management, environmental health and environmental monitoring and liquor licensing. The library also includes an extensive set of processes for dealing with land information, parking, libraries and museums, recreation and leisure, community development, animal management and compliance as well as customer services and service delivery.

Councils are saving money right from the start. “We have over 1,000 processes in the library,” says Seselj. “When you think that each process required meetings and input from a number of managers before it was developed, then add in the costs of analysis, development, documentation review and approvals, it’s clear that each process may represent anything from one thousand to tens of thousands of dollars in costs and time. Councils have made a substantial and very real investment in developing these processes, which they’re now making available for sharing.”

Anyone with a council email address can access the Local Government Shared Process Library NZ by requesting access here. Councils can also collaborate online via this LinkedIn forum.

While all processes in the library were developed by councils using Promapp software, councils do not have to use Promapp to access or download processes from the library.

Council staff can use the library to search for and view processes in map and procedure form, print, share, download and deploy them. They can assess the quality of their existing processes against other councils’. They can find, adapt and adopt proven processes faster, saving time and money. And if their council already uses Promapp they can export the process and import it into their own Promapp system, improving efficiency and service.

“We were happy to share our entire building consent authority quality assurance process with other councils,” said library champion, Jamie Dale of Taupo District Council. “We’ve invested heavily in trying to keep it simple and effective, which allows us to focus on delivering building control services to our customers. IANZ have reviewed the complete process and accredited it as meeting the requirements of the Building (Accreditation of Building Consent Authorities) Regulations 2006. Local government has a remarkable history of co-operation. Sharing proven, valuable resources is a natural extension of that culture.”

The library launches today, along with a companion library of processes developed by Australian councils.

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