After revealing the first tranche of finalists for the Benchmark Awards 2020, it's time to recognise innovation in the local government sector.
This is only the second year local government has had a stand-alone category, and the calibre and quantity of the submissions show that councils are more than deserving of their own recognition.
Head here to find the finalists from the education, health, mass-market, sustainability and resilience categories, and stay tuned over the coming days to find out the finalists in the remaining categories.
iTnews Benchmark Awards 2020 local government finalists
Lake Macquarie City Council: ‘Community Portal’
In its efforts to be a customer-centric organisation, Lake Macquarie City Council began investigating how a personalised online portal for its services would look back in 2018.
The council rebuilt its website in consultation with the community to streamline its services and make them available online 24/7 - saving residents time and effort and saving the council money through a reduction in phone calls and face-to-face interactions.
The shift in service delivery capability and culture within council means it is now better placed to offer new online services with greater flexibility in the near future, meeting community members’ changing expectations in the digital era.
Local Government Association Queensland: ‘LG Sherlock’s Energy Detective’
Queensland’s 77 local councils combined spend $250 million on energy every year, but until now have had little insight into what they could be doing to reduce their costs or how they compare to other councils.
The LGAQ developed the Energy Detective as an online data analytics tool as a means for councils to easily analyse their energy use and anonymously benchmark their data against other councils - identifying assets that could be switched off and cheaper tariffs they could switch to.
The tool has already been used to detect when councils were footing the energy bill for assets they didn’t even own, and to spot anomalous price surges that soared over $50,000 in a month.
Port Stephens Council: ‘From Excel to automation’
Port Stephens Council was using Excel spreadsheets and intensive manual processing to capture data while using Outlook for notifications and updates, resulting in the unnecessary duplication of workloads.
Workflows were centralised and automated using Nintex forms, increasing transparency for customers who can now track their requests with greater transparency through a single online access point.
It’s also saved staff at the council countless hours through reduced volumes of calls, emails and drop-ins to check on the status of requests, while workflows are automatically allocated to the correct officers.
The solution has also cut down on waste and increased the accuracy of data by removing manual double handling processes.