Council project a winner

22:13, Nov 08 2013

Horizons Regional Council's role in developing software to make its work easier has been recognised with a national award for excellence.

The award is shared with the Northland, Waikato, Taranaki, West Coast and Southland regional councils, which worked together to develop and share specialist technical software for core functions.

The Integrated Regional Information System (IRIS) is one of the largest local government shared-services projects to be undertaken in New Zealand. IRIS won the Joined Up Local Government Excellence Award at this week's Society of Local Government Managers annual meeting in Wellington.

"IRIS consolidates data currently held by a number of satellite applications into a single database, aiding a more unified approach to council business," Horizons chief executive Michael McCartney said.

"This is good news for our ratepayers and our staff. By working in partnership with the other councils we've been able to achieve far more than would have been possible at an individual level. "

Around 200 staff from the six councils, along with 50 from contractor Datacom, have been involved in the project.

The database is made up of hundreds of thousands of resource consents and other council records. IRIS is now at two of the councils and is about to go live at Horizons and three others.

Mr McCartney said the councils involved in the project were running core systems on software platforms that were no longer supported. When they found no affordable package that met their needs, councils decided to work collaboratively which brought with it the opportunity to review and refine business practices.

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