Weymouth & Portland - Preparing for 2012
In November 2008, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council appointed Salford GIS Limited as project managers to oversee the specification, procurement and implementation of a replacement corporate GIS and associated back-office systems. Working alongside the Council’s ICT Manager and GIS Manager, the independent GIS Consultant from Salford GIS provided additional resource to complement the existing internal skills.
The Council is a keen advocate of GIS and over the past 15 years has benefited from the practical application of GIS-based systems across numerous business areas including Planning, Building Control, Highways and Engineering, Waste Management and Electoral Services. In addition to providing desktop, intranet and Internet-based functionality, the current system also incorporates back-office applications to serve the needs of Local Land Charges, Land Terrier, Leases and Licensing, and Environmental Health users. Senior Managers and Elected Members recognise the strategic importance of Geographic Information and acknowledge that the Authority could not now function effectively without this core technology.
The first phase of the project entailed a comprehensive review into the use and management of the current systems and data. Based on a thorough understanding of the existing situation and a clear statement of future requirements, the independent consultant was able to assist in the detailed specification of the medium to long term requirements for the replacement systems.
Key elements of the specification included the need for replacement systems for Local Land Charges and Estates Management. Both systems are required to integrate with the replacement corporate GIS to allow for the sharing and dissemination of data. In addition it is essential that the new corporate GIS integrates with other relevant back-office systems and GIS software in use throughout the Council, the County Council, neighbouring local authorities and strategic partners.
A business case was prepared and presented to the Senior Management Team. In addition all Elected Members were invited to attend a GIS Project Briefing. This helped to raise awareness of GIS and served to emphasise the significant benefits that the Council were already receiving as a result of embracing the technology as a core business tool.
A formal EU procurement process was adopted during which Salford GIS were able to guide the Council through the short-listing and tendering processes culminating in the detailed evaluation of proposals from potential suppliers. Preferred suppliers have been appointed and formal contracts are in the process of being drawn up.
Salford GIS Limited will continue to oversee the implementation and integration of the various systems and will also provide advice and guidance on data cleansing, data migration and the establishment of an ongoing system and data management framework.