Cardiff Council instigates efficiency drive

The local authority aims to speed up the delivery of public services and make more staff available to deal with citizen requests by using SAP software to automate much of its back-end IT system.

The project will provide access to a real-time electronic audit trail of financial and works orders, allowing the organisation to make quicker decisions and reallocate staff to focus on customer enquiries rather than data input.

‘We’re looking to get IT to do the day-to-day activities, which will bring about a reduction in cost,’ said Crispin O’Connell, chief ICT officer at Cardiff council. ‘By automating many of these processes our current resources can be used for frontline customer activities.’

LogicaCMG will work with the council to install the systems on more than 1,500 desktops. Phase one of the roll out will begin in April 2005, with creditor, debtor, ledgers and electronic procurement systems going live first. Payroll and human resources will follow in April 2006.

‘The system will provide real-time information to managers rather than having to get accountants to extract information from our current systems,’ said O’Connell. ‘The aim is to drive efficiency in the way we work, which will be of better cost benefit to our citizens.’

The SAP software is replacing a 15-year-old legacy system. ‘Currently information can sometimes be five weeks behind the times from when an actual event took place,’ said O’Connell.

‘Services can be provided quicker and we can deal with suppliers with greater efficiency.’

Last month, the council announced it would also overhaul its network infrastructure as part of a five-year project to bring better internet and intranet access to councillors and employees working from home and at the council’s 120 offices around the city.

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