Manjimup Shire Council
Manjimup is a medium sized town, population around 4,000, in the southwest of Western Australia. The local Council manages the largest shire in this part of the country. Compared with the inland arid desert regions, the south-west corner of Western Australia was and is a well watered and fertile region which supported Nyungar Aboriginal people for at least 40,000 years before the first European contact in the 17th century. Manjimup is the centre of a thriving timber and agricultural area.
Prior to the introduction of Infocouncil, Council used Word templates for reports, agendas and minutes, and distributed and recorded these manually. Infocouncil was adopted in June 2008, making Manjimup our first client council in WA. We are grateful to Council and to Gaye Burridge, Corporate Administration and Marketing Officer, for completing our feedback survey. This was done in December 2009. All quotations are from Gaye's survey form.
Before and after Infocouncil
The frustrations and inefficiencies that arise when different reports are submitted using different styles or formatting cannot be overestimated. On this point Ms Burridge writes, "formatting is far better since the introduction of Infocouncil." She also notes, "the fact that managers and directors have far better access to reports means better knowledge of what is going on in their areas." As to introducing the new software to users Gaye summarises, "there are no real issues with report writing, everyone has pretty much taken to implementation well."
Aside from the reduction of issues arising from styles and formatting, Gaye describes the procedure for incorporating late reports into the agenda as "extremely easy". Likewise, recompiling and repaginating is "easy". Changing the queue order of reports is "very easy". Overall, Gaye says of Infocouncil, "I find the collating and presentation of the agenda wonderful time wise".
Gaye comments on minute taking as follows; "the ease with which the ‘en bloc’ items are moved and the certainty that minute numbers are correct and the tools for resolving make the minutes a much easier document to deal with. Even just the fact that the Crs names are automatically inserted with certainty that they are spelt correctly is a bonus. Overall a much less stressful way of doing minutes for Council."
Ms Burridge notes Council is, "…still learning with this module. However it is slowly being realised how valuable it is."
Here are Gaye's overall ratings of the two systems:
Previous system: 4
In summary, Gaye Burridge describes the professional appearance and quality of agendas and minutes using Infocouncil as "excellent". Quick and accurate access to information is "easy", and time use efficiency by those who compile and handle the agendas and minutes is "wonderful".