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Local Government NSW

Introduction

Located in the Sydney CBD, Local Government NSW is a NSW industry body that acts as a voice for Local Government in NSW. Local Government NSW seeks to provide leadership to and advocacy for Local Government, for the benefit of local communities.

Together, the organisation represents 152 general purpose councils as well as 13 special purpose councils. It represents the views of these councils by:

  • Presenting councils’ views to governments
  • Promoting Local Government to the community
  • Providing specialist advice and services

Prior to the introduction of Infocouncil Local Government NSW had been using in-house developed software to manage reports, agendas and minutes, deciding to make the transition to Infocouncil in October 2005. We conducted a before-and-after survey with this organisation in December 2008, and Trish Mayer kindly completed the survey.

Before and After Infocouncil

Trish noted that when using her organisation’s previous system she experienced difficulties and drawbacks with several of its key functions. Trish and management “…realised we needed a better system.” The following is Trish’s assessment of the state of agendas and minutes before and after Infocouncil.

Reports

Trish observed that there were problems with reports not being in a standard format or not using a required style stating that when creating a report there were “lots of reformatting and changing of styles and bullet points etc.”

After the implementation of Infocouncil Trish has noticed a change in the quality of agendas and minutes especially in regards to their appearance “the appearance is better and it’s great to have attachments directly after their report.”

Agendas

Agendas were also problematic for Trish where attachments were concerned; “collating agendas was difficult because all attachments had to be relocated after the end of the reports.” Trish stated that this continued to be a drawback because “when recompiling for the Executive Meetings – The Standing Committee Minutes and reports had to be attached at the back of the Executive Agenda and when councillors read the reports they had to keep flicking to and fro the attachments.”

Trish again noted that after Infocouncil this was no longer a problem.

Minutes

Trish advised us that using their previous proprietary product, minutes were not kept in real time and that “the minute taker wrote them out and they were done after the meeting.”

After Infocouncil Trish and other members of staff are able to take minutes live during meetings.

Filing

Trish acknowledged that prior to Infocouncil “filing was a lot more bulky” with the previous system.

Infocouncil eases this problem by offering an integrated solution with HP TRIM, the Records Management software used by Local Government NSW.

Trish has found that the ease of access to Information, both past and present, has become “a lot more efficient.”

Rating

Here is Trish’s rating of the previous system and Infocouncil:
Previous system: 5
Infocouncil:8