Agenda item

Project Progress (Agenda item 8)

Update on all live projects, including the Licensing Project, by the ICT Project Manager/BIT Team Lead.



The ICT Project Manager highlighted the progress on approved and future projects.  A report was circulated.


CR2000 Replacement


Four work packages had been identified, orders had been raised for work packages 1 and 3, a new import file for the mixed payments issue had been written by Capita and was in test, and the Department Work & Pensions (DWP) file format had been received and specifications were being agreed with Steria and Capita.


The estimated completion times were noted.


Licensing Project


The ICT Project Manager felt that this project had demonstrated the greatest value to the Licensing Team and its customers.  This was an excellent product but would take another five/six months to complete.  The new system was pulling out many unexpected issues but all the problems that were being found were being addressed.  The new system would allow multi-skilling within the Team and would create additional benefit than had been realised.  Taxi drivers were already experiencing the impact of the new Licensing system as the Team was now able to be more proactive.  The second part of this project was putting in ‘Enterprise’ which was the public facing part of the system and provided some excellent mobile facilities.  Breckland Council was also the first authority to barcode its taxi plates and licences and was already receiving plaudits for its implementation.


The Chairman asked whether Lalpac would be suitable for other parts of the Council.  In response, the ICT Project Manager explained that the Business Improvement Manager was looking to pull across all licensable activities across to the system.  It would also give the Council the opportunity to offer this service to other authorities in the future.


Members were informed that Breckland did not own the rights within Lalpac.


Taxis, charities and TEN had been completed but premises licenses were still to be data cleansed and completed.


The Policy & Performance Manager felt that Breckland Council could become a marketing opportunity for Lalpac’s website and the project plan could be of value to other authorities.


The Capital and Revenue costs were explained and the business opportunities were discussed.  The Senior Accountant felt that it would be worthwhile to have a forecast for the forthcoming budgets at the September meeting.


Government Connect Phase 2


Simon Stubbs, also an ICT Project Manager, had been working on this project.  Internal and external system health checks had been carried out.  The project had kept within budget and Phase 1 was now complete.


Referring to Citrix, the Chairman asked if it was just Members that were experiencing problems with this system.  The ICT Project Manager advised that Simon Stubbs was working with Steria to understand some of the issues; as a few errors had also been logged by Officers.


It was agreed that an update on Citrix be provided at the next meeting.


Website Rebuild


There were no issues to report at this stage.  The Marketing & Communications Officer demonstrated to Members where the Council was at with the website rebuild.


The new website was being designed to make use of social media opportunities and would be made very simple and clear to use.


The data migration was due to be completed by the end of August 2010.  It would then be shown at a full Council meeting before going live.


Different pages of the new website were demonstrated.


The Chairman asked if there would be any pages that targeted youngsters and further asked if it would be sensible to utilise the Youth Council for such pages.  Members were informed that a lot of money had been spent by other authorities on such pages and the take up had not been great.


FAQs would be included on the new website but not e-forms; currently, although not ruled out, this methodology would be considered at a future phase.  It was noted that Lagan already provided this facility although a lot of work was needed to configure this.  Direct dial telephone numbers and email addresses would be removed from the new website.


The Policy and Performance Manager asked if the Council’s telephone system pointed the caller in the direction of the website if in a queue.  Members were informed that this was being considered as an option for the next phase and was already being looked at by Dylan Powles, the Contact Centre Manager.


Referring to Lagan, it was asked whether this facility was capable of accepting mobile message services.  The ICT Project Manager explained that Lagan was currently trialling this in America.




The Business Case for the VMWare/SAN project was just for information at the moment and was circulated to provide a high level view of the proposal.


This would give the Council an opportunity to migrate all of its software applications to a virtualised server infrastructure.  By using specifically designed software, a server administrator could convert one physical server into multiple virtual servers (VM’s).  Financial savings would be made on maintenance, cooling and space.  If this did not go ahead, operating costs would continue to increase and given the current power requirements to run the existing physical server pool and the air conditioning, would result in an increasing yearly cost to the Council.  The secondary problem was the levels of CO2 omissions, as a result of the high electrical usage from the server pool, the consequences of which would result in a carbon tax levy being charged.  This would be minimised through VMWare adoption.


This facility would enable the amount of data held by the Council to be quadrupled.


Future Plans


The following list was some of the ideas being explored for the next financial year:


  • GSX Government Connect Phase 3
  • PAYE.Net
  • Managed APACs
  • PCI Compliance Phase 2
  • Lagan Strategy
  • Printing Reduction


Referring to the reduction in printing, the ICT Team had a piece of software that had been monitoring the amounts being used by each service area in the Council.  A summary for May was shown.


The Policy & Performance Manager asked if the black & white default had made any difference to costs.  In response, the Project Manager explained that before the default was initiated, the amount of colour copies being printed was much higher than it was at present.  He felt that with the budget cuts, printing behaviour should change and this should be reflected I Service Team Plans for Service Managers.  The cost of an on-site industrial shredder was being investigated to reduce paper costs even further.


It was agreed that a report on paper and printing costs would be brought to a future meeting.


The report was otherwise noted.