Shared soft­ware re­think

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By JON BAS­SETT

DE­LAYS with a joint com­puter sys­tem have trig­gered Pep­per­mint Grove, Cottes­loe and Clare­mont coun­cils to re­con­sider re­source shar­ing us­ing pro­posed re­gional sub­sidiary leg­is­la­tion still sit­ting in State Par­lia­ment.

“All we are do­ing is re­sources shar­ing for ef­fi­cien­cies for our ratepay­ers, and to take away any chance of a fu­ture gov­ern­ment to say ‘You’re in­ef­fi­cient’ and force a merger,” Clare­mont Mayor Jock Barker said.

Clare­mont could jointly host the IT sys­tems and pay­ment ser­vices of the two other coun­cils af­ter July next year.

Mr Barker said the coun­cils could share some parts of their plan­ning schemes and lo­cal laws in the fu­ture, depend­ing on dis­cus­sions.

In­ves­ti­gat­ing shared IT gained speed af­ter can­cel­la­tion of WA’s merger process 16 months ago that trig­gered a meet­ing of may­ors and chief ex­ec­u­tives to ex­plore shar­ing more re­sources.

In May, Pep­per­mint Grove coun­cil agreed that their IT sys­tems could be hosted by Cottes­loe.

But the pro­posal was scut­tled af­ter staff move­ments at Cottes­loe, which needed more time to cre­ate a com­puter pro­gram to ser­vice ratepay­ers.

Last month, Pep­per­mint Grove and Cottes­loe agreed that Clare­mont would be the even­tual IT host and to sup­port the re­gional sub­sidiary pro­posal.

“Clare­mont has al­ready ap­pointed a busi­ness de­vel­op­ment man­ager, and will soon be go­ing out to ten­der for its soft­ware re­quire­ments,” Pep­per­mint Grove pres­i­dent Rachel Thomas said.

Her coun­cils’ 2015-16 bud­get in­cludes $125,000 for a shared IT sys­tem’s soft­ware, IT tech­nol­ogy re­serve funds and con­sul­tants.

Mos­man Park Mayor Ron Nor­ris said he thought the other coun­cils be­lieved they fit­ted to­gether and “the ef­fi­ciency of the group wouldn’t be en­hanced by adding Mos­man Park”.

Mr Nor­ris said there had been no re­quest for a new IT sys­tem at his town, where the ad­min­is­tra­tion was “happy” with the cur­rent ser­vice.

Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ter Tony Simp­son’s spokesman said a Bill amend­ing the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Act for re­gional sub­sidiary coun­cils was in­tro­duced to Par­lia­ment last Novem­ber but there was still no ex­pected date for it to go to a vote.

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