City Council IT plan to enable online rate payments

The Mayor and City Council last week launched Plan IT which will increase the municipality’s efficiency and streamline its services while facilitating the public with e-services such as online payments of rates.

Plan IT will be implemented in all the municipalities from 2009-2011. It centres around six core strategies: document management and imaging, networking, e-municipality, business pro-cess improvement and technical innovation.

Through its e-municipality service the Council plans to introduce online electronic payments service, including electronic forms processing and making more information such as maps, charts and other diagrams to present data available to citizens. The Council said its website located at www.georgetowncity. org will be continually redesigned and updated in order to allow easier access by the public. As regard its business process improvement it plans to implement an “appropriate mix of software and hardware” to enhance municipal-wide service delivery throughout the Council.

The release said too an Electronic Content Manage-ment System will also be instituted to allow better management of the increasing volume of paper and electronic records. Programmes will be installed that address data ownership, storage, redundancy and disaster recovery for mission critical data, retention and access.

Meanwhile, the George-town Municipality’s Informa-tion Technology Division intends to take a number of actions over three years. These include installing a ‘data highway’ to connect all workstations in the George-town municipality to other municipal locations countrywide to facilitate the easy flow of information. “Infor-mation servers will be centralised to provide control, accessibility, and ease of maintenance” while allowing users including councillors and senior officers, timely access to information which will boost decision-making processes.

The Division intends to develop an integrated set of municipal information repositories to facilitate rapid access to information, reduce duplication, enhanced responses to the citizenry and sustain a consistent level of service to both internal and external customers.

The Division will also establish a business resumption/disaster recovery strategy for municipal operations which will allow it to continue operations in the event of any type of outage. To this end an offsite back-up facility will also be established. It also plans to conduct ongoing research in technology trends and development that will benefit the municipality.

Additionally, there will be specific enhancements to some departments in the Georgetown municipality. These include in the City Treasurer’s Department where a system will be put in place to allow improved collection and management of all the municipality’s funds by means of accounting, procurement, revenue collection, budget preparation and monitoring. These adjustments will also allow property owners online access to their property accounts and facilitate the payment of rates by debit or credit cards.

The City Engineer’s Department will benefit from the extensive use of information technology services that will allow engineers to oversee maintenance of drains, sluices, construction and maintenance of roads, sanitary and other facilities. Also, a computerized revenue collection system will be put into operation at the six municipal markets and they will be linked through a wide area network.

Additionally, a fully automated management information system will be put in place in the Solid Waste Management Department to facilitate the monitoring of revenue collection and disposal citywide.

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