4.13 ICT AND KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT Reliable and effective information and communication technology (ICT) hardware and software, and retention of important corporate knowledge (including document records and emails) is an essential part of contemporary local governance. It is entirely reasonable for Ipswich residents and ratepayers to expect that your council has a strategic framework and appropriate policies and procedures in place so that ICT is up-to-date (but not “gold-plated”) and that key records are kept and accessible within the relevant privacy requirements. BEFORE ADMINISTRATION Before administration, council’s portfolio of ICT assets was procured and administered with little transparency to other divisions of council and certainly with no clear alignment with strategic plans (i.e Advance Ipswich and council’s corporate plan) or any overarching ICT framework. Your former council’s information and knowledge management capability across the organisation was far from mature and was not fully compliant with relevant legislative requirements. While council had a central electronic document records management system, it was not well utilised by council staff. Information governance documentation either did not exist, was incomplete or required revalidation. Formed business-led reference groups across council to guide and support ICT strategy research and development; Completed a full review of the current state of ICT services and applications including an extensive, council-wide feedback survey; Developed a suite of ICT principles, goals and outcomes to guide ongoing operation and development of ICT services; Developed and tested a range of strategic options addressing how council should plan for and procure future business applications; and Developed a four-year program of work, consisting of 24 individual initiatives, to drive ICT strategy outcomes. WHAT WE DID A Transformation Program team:
The ICT strategy has been endorsed by the Executive Leadership Team and arrangements have been made to ensure ongoing sponsorship and outcomes reporting to a newly established ICT Steering Committee. Council divisional and branch leaders and users of council ICT services will have visibility and influence over ICT services and future ICT investment decisions can be tested against a clear and agreed ICT strategy. A separate project team was formed in relation to corporate knowledge management and focused on the development, socialisation and finalisation of key information governance documentation. A relaunch of council’s electronic document records management system was conducted, with staff reminded about the requirements for and benefits associated with using this system for records management. The team also commenced the development of a program for records management staff to ensure the organisation is supported by a knowledgeable and skilled team. NOW While your council is committed to continuing on the information and knowledge management maturity journey that was commenced by this project, there is still work to be done before your council can be considered “mature” in this area. Community members can expect to see progressive improvement in the way council’s ICT and knowledge management systems operate. Council staff are expected to work within the requirements of the knowledge management system, including use of the central electronic records system. The incoming mayor and councillors can expect the council staff to have ready access to relevant information and be using the appropriate ICT systems.